Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Lectures from the Allen Room and the Wertheim Study: Books Are Weapons in the War of Ideas: Celebrating Banned Book Week and the Freedom to Read Freely

October 4, 2012

Program Locations:

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, South Court Auditorium
General Research Division

Author Mike Edison, a self-described “free speech zealot” & who has worked for some of the world’s most notorious magazines, will celebrate, with Gary Lucas, the American Library Association’s Banned Book Week with a spirited presentation - part lecture & part performance, guaranteed to be as informational & inspirational as it is entertaining. 

Edison, a writer in residence in the Library’s Allen Room, will discuss America’s sordid history of banned books, censorship, the First Amendment, obscenity laws, & the rise of the “new erotica” – including the relative merits of bestseller 50 Shades of Grey & the decision by some libraries to ban it. He will also read from his favorite banned authors - Roald Dahl, Kurt Vonnegut, & Mark Twain, as well as from his own pragmatic & hilarious How to Write a Porn Novel.

Mike Edison is the author of the cult memoir, I Have Fun Everywhere I Go (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), & Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! – Of Playboys, Pigs, & Penthouse Paupers, an American Tale of Sex and Wonder (Soft Skull Press).  He is the former publisher of  High Times magazine & the editor-in-chief of Screw, has worked as a foreign correspondent for Hustler & as a gun-for hire of the Penthouse letters. His most recent work is the bawdy political satire Bye Bye, Miss American Pie, available this Fall as an ebook wherever ebooks are sold.

Gary Lucas, most famous for his work with singer Jeff Buckley & visionary avant-bluesman Capt. Beefheart, has been called "The Thinking Man's Guitar Hero" by The New Yorker, "Guitarist of 1000 Ideas" by the New York Times, & "a true axe god" by Melody MakerRolling Stone's David Fricke wrote: "Gary Lucas is one of the best & most original guitarists in America...a modern guitar miracle.”  Lucas tours the world relentlessly both solo & with several ensembles, including his longtime band Gods and Monsters.

click here for more lectures from the Allen Room