Bookseller Briefing 10/19 – week ending 8 March

The Bookseller


Top 20 most influential banned books revealed

Academic Book Week has revealed the 20 most influential banned books and launched a public vote to find the public’s number one.

Selected by academic booksellers across the UK and Ireland in association with Index on Censorship, the public are now invited to vote on the most influential banned book, with the winning book revealed during Academic Book Week, which this year takes place from 4th March to 9th March.

PRH leads the way with 13 titles on the list which features Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Beloved by Toni Morrison.

Academic Book Week’s most influential banned books are:
1984 by George Orwell (PRH)
A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller (PRH)
Beloved by Toni Morrison (PRH)
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (PRH)
Country Girls by Edna O’Brien (Faber)
His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman (Scholastic)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Virago, Hachette)
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D H Lawrence (PRH)
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (PRH)
On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (OUP)
Rights of Man by Thomas Paine (OUP)
Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (PRH)
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (PRH)
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (W&N, Orion, Hachette)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (PRH)
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (PRH)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (PRH)
Ulysses by James Joyce (PRH)
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (Faber)
Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (PRH)

Building on the success of previous years, Academic Book Week 2019 is being coordinated by the Booksellers Association in partnership with University College London.

Emma Bradshaw, head of campaigns at the Booksellers Association, said: “Academic Book Week’s Top 20 Most Influential Banned Books will spark debate in Academic Book Week and beyond. Each of the books on this shortlist has been hugely successful, despite attempts to ban them and we look forward to seeing the result of the public vote.”

The public vote was open from Friday 1st March until 11:59pm on Wednesday 6th March to find the book that has been most influential:


Nobel Prize in Literature to be awarded twice this year

The Nobel Prize in Literature will be awarded twice this year after the Swedish Academy postponed 2018’s event over a sexual assault scandal.

In a statement released today (5th March) the Nobel Foundation said it would award Laureates for 2018 and 2019 this autumn.

Last year’s event was axed after accusations of sexual assault against photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, the husband of Swedish Academy member Katarina Frostenson. Arnault was convicted of rape in October and sent to prison for two years.

The fallout from the initial allegations led to nearly half the 18-member academy resigning their posts.

In its statement, the foundation said it was now taking steps aimed at “restoring trust in the academy as a prize-awarding institution”.

Under the changes, the Academy will no longer have any members who are subject to conflict of interest or criminal investigations. It will also include five independent external members to help select the Nobel Laureates.

Consideration is also being given to time-limited membership of the Academy and how to handle any expulsions in the future. Previously, members were appointed for life and were unable to resign.

The foundation said: “Overall, during the past year the Swedish Academy has taken a number of important steps to deal with the problems that arose late in 2017, and more are planned. Although it will take time to fully restore confidence, the Board of the Nobel Foundation believes that the prerequisites for this are now good. Given the reforms that have been implemented and planned, the Swedish Academy has the opportunity not only to put the past year behind it, but also to become a better-functioning organisation in the future.”

The last winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2017 was Kazuo Ishiguro.