Indian Canadian Rupi Kaur’s debut milk and honey was one of the most banned books in schools during the first half of the 2022-23 school year, according to a report by PEN America. This time period saw a total of 1,477 individual book bans affecting 874 unique titles, an increase of 28 percent compared to January to June 2022.
“it deeply concerns me that there is a group of people hell bent on taking away literature that students find refuge in,” Kaur wrote in an Instagram post.
A significant portion of these banned books deal with race and LGBTQ+ issues, but this period saw an expansion in the topics that were targeted by book banners so that books that portray violence and abuse, health and wellbeing, and death and grief have also been pulled from the shelves.
milk and honey, which is a “a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity,” tied with The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison on a list of the top 11 most banned books in the U.S. with a total of 10 different bans.
“i remember sitting in my school library in high school, turning to books about sexual assault because i didn’t have anyone else to turn to,” Kaur wrote. “this is the reality for many students.
“now that books about sexual assault and other topics are being banned- i worry for students who rely on school libraries for access to literature,” she concluded.
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