Author Talks About Book Ban

In the current issue of Word Riot, author Stephen Chbosky talks about attempts by a group of parents to have his book (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a coming of age story about a boy who can’t repress his emotions) banned from an elective course at a Milwaukee area high school. Despite others’ efforts to silence him, Chbosky wants remains open to dialogue:

If you can reach across and really talk to people-really communicate-it’s always better. I truly believe that, because then all sides feel respected and you might actually learn something. The Left hates President Bush like I’ve never heard the Left hate anybody, but they’re just like the Clinton haters six years ago. It’s the same exact rage. Passion is wonderful-in politics, in art, whatever-but it’s gotten to such an extreme that it’s strange. For my own education, I drove across the country and listened to nothing but right-wing books on tape: Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Bernie Goldberg…Half the country believes this, so it’s worth considering. I’m still a Democrat, I’m still a liberal, but it was worth it to learn about the other side and learn about that point of view. It’s just good manners.

That’s more than one can say for Bill “just shut up, cut his mike off” O’Reilly.