I read the Oct. 1 editorial with interest, “LSU exhibits banned books.” There was a tone of righteous indignation in the piece that I rarely see in The Advocate’s editorials. It was a thorough attack against censorship. As a librarian, I appreciate the strong stance.
However, as an author, I’m not pleased. I sold a novel in 2004, set in southeast Louisiana, “Welcome to the Fallen Paradise.” I was given a modest advance, which I promptly spent. The Times-Picayune named my book a best debut of the year, but The Advocate didn’t even bother to review it. As best I can tell, the book is now out of print and the publisher is defunct.
Did the newspaper censor my book? I wish I could prove it. That would resurrect my novel from the dustbin of history. Nothing sells books like censorship. People like to read what they are told they can’t read. Get a book on the American Library Association’s Banned Books list, and it will sell for decades. You can’t pay for better advertisement.
My advice to the perpetually offended (the Rev. Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum, take note.): Whenever you read a book that erodes the moral fiber of this country, be quiet, very quiet.
Unless it’s my book, of course. Please censor my book. Nothing is better than public opposition. You have my permission to ban it from every library, bookstore and school in America.
Ban my book, and I’ll dedicate my next work to you. I promise.