Book details

Publication date: March 2013
Features: Foreword/liminaire, introduction
Series: Henry Kreisel Memorial Lecture Series
Keywords: Canadian Literature;Essay
Subject(s): LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Essays, Creative Writing, Literary Nonfiction, Creative Writing, Essays, Black Studies, Canadian Literature / Essay, Canadian Literature;Essay, Literature, Essays, Black Authors and Authors of Colour
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press, Canadian Literature Centre / Centre de littérature canadienne

Lawrence Hill. Lawrence Hill is a Canadian novelist and memoirist. His best-known work, The Book of Negroes, won multiple awards, including the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

Ted Bishop.

"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]

"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]

# 5 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list (Edmonton Nonfiction) for the week of August 2, 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 at]

"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

“[Burning the book cover serves] as the point of departure for a meditation on book burnings and censorship and it forms the basis for an impassioned plea for freedom of expression, even in cases when one can understand the undeniable hurt experienced by some readers.”

Maureen Moynagh, Canadian Literature

"In this great read, Hill explores the idea of censorship in the modern world..." LitFest 2015

LitFest 2015

AAUP Book, Jacket & Journal Show - Book Design / Trade Typographic, United States
Book Design of the Year - Alberta Book Awards, Canada
ISBNs: 9780888646798 978-0-88864-679-8 Title: dear sir i intend to burn your book