Review Blog

Aug 24 2009

Burn this book edited by Toni Morrison

cover image

Harpercollins, 2009.
ISBN 9780061774003.
(Age 15+) Burn this book is a collection of essays edited by Toni Morrison on the power of writers and writing. The collection has been sponsored by the PEN association, an organization that since 1921 has worked for the rights of all to communicate freely. The essays are by well known authors including John Updike, Toni Morrison herself, Nadine Gordimer, Orphan Pamuk, Paul Auster and others, and deal with the reasons for writing as well as the transformative power of the written word. The writers' attitudes are at times influenced by their culture; those from the 'free' world, John Updike, for example, tend to be more skeptical about the influence of writers than those living under repressive regimes. All generally agree that good writing is not overtly political; it cannot preach or proselytize, support or undermine a government. Rather, it is a testament to the strength and dignity of the individual, the power of the imagination and the importance of freedom of expression. A strength of this collection is the variety of responses to the topic; Updike's essay explores his own methodology, David Grossman from Israel writes of the power of his writing to heal personal grief, Francine Prose, an American academic and critic, writes an entertaining piece about connections and 'unknowing', and Ed Park uses the banning of I am the Cheese by Robert Cormier as the springboard for a creative riff on censorship. The collection would be suitable for senior students.
Jenny Hamilton

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2020
Hugo Awards 2020
Aurealis Awards 2020
Little Rebels Award shortlist 2020
2020 UKLA Book Awards
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal Winners 2020
Klaus Flugge shortlist 2020
Miles Franklin Award 2020

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Feel good and uplifting books for staff
Online Children's Storytime Websites List
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Children's Laureate's charter