professornana (professornana) wrote,

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You have the right to remain silent

My friend Karin Perry sent me this link yesterday asking me what I thought:

This post discusses why a book will not be reviewed or discussed on the blog platform. The book in question is a companion to Chris Lynch's INEXCUSABLE, a book that garnered much praise. And rightfully so. The story of how Keir rationalizes his actions, particularly those actions that led to a rape. Keir is a complex character. Sympathetic? I don't think so. But readers will see how Keir came to rationalize everything he has ever done in his life. The novel is crafted so perfectly; that explains the awards and reviews. I know I will look forward to reading the companion book, IRREVERSIBLE. Perhaps I will come to accept the point this blog post does, that this is a rape reception story. However, I will make that decision AFTER I read the book and not before I have read a word of it.

This decision to reject a book before reading it bothers me at a gut level. At best it seems like gate-keeping: we will not even review it or purchase it or read it. At worst, it seems more like censorship. Before reading a word, a book is rejected. There are books out there that are not quality work. There are books out there that contains stereotypes that are troubling. There are books that are didactic, preachy, and more. But before I reject, I read. It is not my job to reject a book before I have seen it or read it. My job is to be an informed reviewer, an informed professor, an informed reader.

When we reject out of hand, we do a disservice to the profession. And to readers. And to ourselves.
Tags: censorship, gatekeeping
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