Salman Rushdie’s exuberant novel, The Satanic Verses, has cast a long shadow since its publication almost 35 years ago. Most recently, with the horrific attempt on Rushdie’s life, we are reminded of what is at stake in our world: the ability to speak, write, and create without fear. Yet what exactly are the true literary merits and shortcomings of this novel?
In honor of Banned Books Week and in protest of censorship of books with LGBTQIA+ and racial equity themes in Oklahoma schools and libraries, we are holding a public reading of some of the most banned and challenged books of the past five years. Readings will be modified to be appropriate for families with middle-school-aged children and older. Between readings, there will be performances by local musicians. Participants will also have an opportunity to write a letter to favorite banned book authors and send a message of support to Oklahoma teachers and librarians.