Bound and Gagged is a home for the banned, the censored, and the controversial. This blog features reviews of banned or challenged books and their movie counterparts, along with anything else that may be related to banned books, censorship, or intellectual freedom.
The goal of this blog is not merely to review, or even draw attention to, banned books but to explore what it is about them (and about us) that inspires such fear, mistrust, and revulsion. Examining why a book is banned is often far more illuminating, fascinating, and unsettling than anything in the book itself. When we brand books as unsuitable, we are saying as much about our own faults as theirs, if not more.
Shannon is a freelance writer and folklore buff out of New Hampshire, land of Frost, Brown, and dePaola. She has a degree from Hampshire College in Creative Writing/Mythology & Religion, with an emphasis on epic/oral traditions, their anthropological implications, and their modern counterparts. Since graduating she has worked in publishing and museum work. Her fiction and poetry can be found in Fabulously Feminist, Wolf Warriors: the National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology, The Concord Monitor, Redhead Magazine, and The Climax. Her personal blog can be found here.
A longtime fan of sticking it to Dolores Umbridge, Shannon spent much of her youth reading books simply because they were banned. Thus, after the death of Ray Bradbury, she was finally galvanized into creating Bound and Gagged to explore the world of banned books. Perhaps someday, when she has made it as a writer, someone will ban one of her books and she can write a review of it as the universe folds in on itself. Until then, however, feel free to read, make suggestions, and enjoy. Waes hael.
Elliot Oberholtzer likes reading speculative fiction, satire, young adult novels, and overly academic books about myth and narrative theory. They have a particular interest in queer narratives and in books with magic and spaceships and hopefully explosions. Banning a book is a good way to make sure they read it. In the small fraction of their life that they do not spend reading they are a freelance data analyst and consultant for nonprofit organizations and small businesses, and also eat lots of pizza.
As a lifelong bibliophiliac, Victoria has a great desire to delve herself into the wide world of SciFi/Fantasy. Known for almost always having a book on hand, or devouring books at warp speed.
When her face is not smashed in a book, she is a Master’s candidate for Counseling Psychology and a Substance Abuse Counselor.
Hannah is the product of several early childhood education experiments including being taught phonics at age 3 and being homeschooled in a house without cable. This resulted in years of passion for fantasy and historical fiction, although she has recently realized that she should have been focusing on SciFi all this time.
When not expounding on her love of controversial materials, Hannah spends most of her time bashing her head against a wall while waiting for the job market to improve. Every once in awhile she hosts bar trivia, though, so at least there is that.
A NOTE ON SPOILERS
Having a book ruined for you sucks. I’ve had so many spoiled that it’s like deaths in Game of Thrones at this point. And, yes, I’ve even had those spoiled. I believe intentionally spoiling a book or show is a cardinal sin of nerddom. However, eventually these books and shows must be allowed to be discussed. Given the nature of this blog and the fact that most books are banned for their spoilery content, it would be impossible to discuss a book or movie’s more controversial content without being able to get into the details. Since we have chosen to start each review with the charges against a book first, it is also not feasible to split the review into a spoiler-free and spoilery section, as some reviewers have done. Thus, the reviews and articles here are not spoiler-free. We try our best when possible but cannot promise anything. Read at your own risk.