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MEDIA ADVISORY: Bay Area authors to read from banned books at SFSU from Sept. 26 to Oct. 5



Matt Itelson
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 338-1743
(415) 338-1665


Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


Jewelle Gomez, Pamela Johnson, students, faculty observe national Banned Books Week

WHAT: The J. Paul Leonard Library at San Francisco State University will join libraries across the country in observing Banned Books Week from Sept. 26 to Oct. 5. Bay Area authors and librarians -- including SFSU faculty, students and alumni -- will read passages from so-called provocative and controversial books without the fear of censorship.

"Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose, and the freedom to express one's opinion, even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular," University librarian Deborah Masters said. "It also stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of all viewpoints, to all who wish to read them."

The authors will also be available to help students with their writing projects.

The American Library Association (ALA) has organized the nationwide observance of Banned Books Week annually since 1982 to celebrate Americans' freedom to read. Many bookstores and libraries across the nation participate with displays and readings of books that have been banned or threatened by people or groups throughout history. These include works ranging from the Bible and "Little Red Riding Hood" to John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men." According to ALA, the most frequently challenged books of 2004 include Robert Cormier's "The Chocolate War," Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," and Michael A. Bellesiles' "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture."

For details, visit:

WHO: About 15 SFSU students, faculty, alumni and Bay Area authors including:

  • Jewelle Gomez, author of "The Gilda Stories;
  • Toni Mirosevich, author of "Queer Street";
  • Pamela Johnson, author of "From a Hard Rock to a Gem: A Memoir of a Lost Soul";
  • Suzy Parker, author of "Tumbling After: Pedaling Like Crazy After Life Goes Downhill"; and
  • Yvonne Daley, author of "Vermont Writers: A State of Mind."


  • noon – 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26;
  • 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27;
  • noon – 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28;
  • 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4; and
  • 12:30 – 2 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5.

WHERE: J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 426C (Faculty Reading Room), San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave. (at 19th Avenue), San Francisco.


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Last modified April 20, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications