Banned Books Week: banned books around the world

Banned Books Week: banned books around the world

As Banned Books Week UK kicks off, Global English Editing shares a map of books currently banned internationally. 

Great books have been banned for almost as long as people have been writing them. 

From the first emperor of China burning all books he considered subversive, to Homer's The Odyssey being banned by the Roman emperor Caligula, to the Catholic Church and their Index of Prohibited Books, governments and religious groups have attempted to censor what we read.

If you think the problem of censorship is consigned to a more regressive past, think again.

Today, scores of classic and popular books are banned in countries around the world. Even in the United States, where books can no longer be ‘banned’ thanks to the Supreme Court, they can still be restricted in schools and libraries throughout the country. 

The UK too is no longer in the business of banning books, but it does have a history of attempting to censor them (often in a ham-fisted way), from The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (1928) to Lady Chatterley's Lover by D H Lawrence (1960). 

Banned Books Week UK is a nationwide campaign, which mirrors the well known US initiative, which celebrates the freedom to read. Held in the last week of September, it features events and noise-making to highlight the many subversive, taboo and inconvenient books that are restricted.

To help kick start the week, and draw attention to the harms of censorship, Global English Editing has created a map of books currently banned in different countries. 

You can read a description of each book, including the reason why each one is banned, on the Global English Editing website.