This one hits close to home, in its way, although my particular dilemma (and it’s a small world problem, believe me) comes from folks stumbling across my written oeuvre (if I can use that word in mixed company?) and seeing my kids books listed down an Amazon page or Barnes and Noble spot with the erotica I write. As I do not spread any kind of nom de plumage across my output, so you will often find all the stuff I have written all listed together. The only distinction I make in my name, and I truly don’t know why I do this, is, for my writing I use Ralph Greco, Jr.–not my legal name although I am a ‘Jr.’–and Ralph Greco for my music making. Not that the “to Jr. or not to Jr.” matters a whit, believe me, as no one is clamoring to find my music…or really, even my written works. But I do get into the old sticky wicket every so often of, ‘Hey you write that, stuff, but you also write this stuff?’ occasionally.
But the story I read today is fantastically silly on a whole other level:
The popular children’s book Read Me A Story, Stella, has been removed from the children’s section of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HCPL). The book, written by Canadian children’s author Marie-Louise Gay (pay attention to her name it’s at the the crux of this silliness) was deemed “sexually explicit,” but not for it’s content, but because…ok, wait for it…the word “Gay” is in Marie Lousie’s name.
No, I shit you not.
Other books including the keywords “lesbian,” ”gay,” “gender,” and “identity” have also been targeted at this particular library.
Again, I shit you not.
Trying to ride the wave of new book banning seemingly happening across the U.S. this little bit of wackiness would be comical if it wasn’t so dangerous. I was just talking to my buddy Tom, about all the time we spent at our local library brand, in the Allwood section of Clifton (at the…yes say it with me…the Allwood Public Library…see how that works?) and how wonderful it was growing up with that place so close and so open to us exploring all kinds of titles. I worry what modern-day kids are being denied and denied, it seems now, for the silliest of reasons.
Hell, you think it’s easy these days to even get a kid to step into a library? We need to have books banned?
You can damn me, question me, or chose not to work with me because you fear the convergence of erotic and children’s writing, although in my world the twain never meet. But banning a book because the author’s last name happens to be a word you fear (a word which can as much be used to describe someone’s sexuality as a festive occasion or person) seems pretty damn crazy to me.
Again, it would be laughable if not so scary.