In honor of Banned Books Week, the good folks over at Flavorpill have assembled a list of their favorite author responses to their books being banned.
We’ve trimmed the list a bit. First, here’s Maurice Sendak in an interview with Stephen Colbert on the frequent banning of In The Night Kitchen:
Stephen Colbert: “This one gets banned all over the place. And you know why.”
Maurice Sendak: “He’s got a dick.”
SC: “Why are you printing a smutty book?”
MS: “Because he’s a boy.”
SC: “Yeah, yeah, but you don’t have to rub it in our face. Boys wear pants.”
MS: “Not when they’re dreaming. Have you never had a dream yourself where you were totally naked?”
MS: “Well I think you’re a man of little imagination.”
And also, here’s Philip Roth on the seemingly constant din of noise surrounding his books:
“This indictment is a kind of fever that flares up from time to time. It flared up after Defender of the Faith, again after Goodbye Columbus, and understandably it went way up — to about 107 — after Portnoy’s Complaint. Now there’s just a low-grade fever running, nothing to worry about. I think the generation that got hot and bothered by my work is getting a little tired of the fuss. You know… if you hang around long enough, they begin to get used to you.”
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.