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Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn Your Book
An Anatomy of a Book Burning
Lawrence Hill
Introduction Ted Bishop
Censorship and book burning are still present in our lives. Lawrence Hill shares his experiences of how ignorance and the fear of ideas led a group in the Netherlands to burn the cover of his widely successful novel, The Book of Negroes, in 2011. Why do books continue to ignite such strong reactions in people in the age of the Internet? Is banning, censoring, or controlling book distribution ever justified? Hill illustrates his ideas with anecdotes and lists names of Canadian writers who faced censorship challenges in the twenty-first century, inviting conversation between those on opposite sides of these contentious issues. All who are interested in literature, freedom of expression, and human rights will enjoy reading Hill’s provocative essay.
Copublished with Canadian Literature Centre / Centre de littérature canadienne.

Format:  Trade Paperback
ISBN:  978-0-88864-679-8
Price:  CND$ 10.95, USD$ 10.95, £ 8.99
Discount:  Trade
Subject:  Canadian Literature/Essay
Publication Date:  March 2013
2014 Association of American University Presses
AAUP Book, Jacket & Journal Show, Book Design / Trade Typographic
"The essay locates itself in a long tradition of correctly reminding readers about the multiple pitfalls of book censorship. But Hill is historically minded and thoughtful enough to not just produce anti-censorship arguments outside of other historical concerns. He presents the ethical dilemmas of racist literature as a backdrop to working out how he comes to his positions on anti-censorship.”
Rinaldo Walcott, Literary Review of Canada, July/August 2013
"Lawrence Hill’s approachable and thought-provoking book takes censorship as its main topic. Its inspiration was an incident in which the cover of Hill’s novel The Book of Negroes was burnt in protest.... Hill takes the original incident as a starting point to discuss large topics of power, communication and conflict. The overarching message of the text is that censorship and racism are complex issues which require further discussion.”
Lian Beveridge, CM Magazine, August 2013. [Full review athttp://umanitoba.ca/cm/vol20/no1/dearsir.html]
# 5 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list (Edmonton Nonfiction) for the week of August 2, 2013.
“Hill delivered a lecture on the incident to the Canadian Literature Centre which has recently been published by The University of Alberta Press. In Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn Your Book he offers a thoughtful, sometimes comical, very personal meditation on literary censorship. Far from an isolated incident, the subject of censorship has been a recurring theme in his life.”
Donna Bailey Nurse, Toronto Star, April 26, 2013 [Full post at http://bit.ly/12q6w3S]
“Those who engage this work, subtitled “An Anatomy of a Book Burning,”
will find much to like, not least Hill’s generous capacity for integrating autobiography — around the racial and cultural experiences of three generations of his own family — with historical commentary on book-burning and censorship campaigns, and also on the institution of slavery, specifically in its Dutch and British Empire-era Canadian versions as well. He pays particular attention to the racial textures and even blasé racism that informs some Dutch words to this day.”
Randy Boyagoda, National Post, May 13, 2013 [Full post at http://bit.ly/11mCc9V]

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