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Book News: Illinois School Board Restores 'Perks Of Being A Wallflower'

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • A school board in Glen Ellyn, Ill., has voted to restore Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being A Wallflower to shelves, after a parent's complaint led to its removal from Hadley Junior High School earlier this year. The ban prompted a public outcry for the book's return that had the support of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. author Judy Blume and the National Coalition Against Censorship. Blume appeared in a protest video made by Glen Ellyn students that was shown to the school board prior to the vote, saying, "I love the book Perks of Being a Wallflower. Keep the book alive."
  • Who could be more suited to illustrating Alice in Wonderland than the surrealist painter Salvador Dali? Open Culture showcases his sinister, trippy illustrations for a 1969 edition of Lewis Carroll's classic novel.
  • Designer Phillipp Meyer has written the first graphic novel for the blind, according to Wired. The book, called Life, uses a tactile technique inspired by Braille – characters are represented by circles of raised bumps. He told Wired, "Most of the tactile material that is available for blind people is very information dense. It's always about information and not often about art."
  • Joyce Carol Oates considers Derek Raymond in The New York Review of Books: "Raymond's vision is wholly secular and fatalist and there is little sense of redemption in these blood-drenched pages."
  • OpenDyslexic, a free, open-sourced font designed by Abelardo Gonzalez, aims to help people with dyslexia read text more easily. According to Gonzales' website, the font works because "letters have heavy weighted bottoms to indicate direction." He adds that, "The unique shapes of each letter can help prevent confusion through flipping and swapping."
  • Poet laureate Natasha Trethewey speaks with The Los Angeles Review of Books about W.H. Auden's poem "Musee des Beaux Arts": "That was the poem that first showed me I wasn't alone, so many years ago, after I'd lost my mother. You know those opening lines: 'About suffering, they were never wrong [...]' That sentiment: here was the image of Icarus falling into the sea in the background and in the foreground the rest of the world was going on as if nothing had happened."
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