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Banned Books Around the World

Over the years, hundreds upon hundreds of books, literature, and other written material have been banned by various cultures for promoting values which they feel contradict their own. There are also some titles that have been banned for contradicting or criticizing ideas. Whatever the reason, information must always be available for all. Below is a list of some banned books and the reason behind their banning. Have you read any of these?


  1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865)

This children’s book was banned in some parts of China for portraying animals as humanlike both physically and intellectually.

  1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (2003)

Brown’s most controversial novel was banned in Lebanon in 2004 and was challenged in several predominantly Catholic cultures because Catholic leaders deemed it offensive to Christianity, largely because of the suggestion that Jesus Christ had a child.

  1. Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)

The most popular novel by one of the most influential African American authors is being banned in some parts of the United States because of “violence,” “sexual content,” and the discussion of bestiality.

  1. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1951)

Salinger’s book is banned in several places in the United States for being “unacceptable,” “obscene,” “blasphemous,” “negative,” “foul,” and “filthy.”

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)

One of the most influential works of its time, The Great Gatsby is still banned in more conservative locations in the United States for its language and references to sex.

  1. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)

One of Hawthorne’s most popular works was banned in the United States for being “sinful,” “pornographic,” and “obscene.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)

Despite being a Pulitzer Prize winner, Lee’s masterpiece is banned in some parts of the United States for being a “degrading, profane, and racist work that promotes white supremacy.”

  1. The Fifty Shades Trilogy by EL James (2011–2012)

The erotica series was banned in Malaysia for being a “threat to morality” and for containing “sadistic” material.

  1. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (1949)

Stalin knew that the novel was based on his leadership and banned it in the Soviet Union in 1950. This ban was lifted in 1990, when the book was released after editing. It was also nearly banned in the UK and the United States during the 1960s Cuban Missile Crisis.

  1. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (14th century)

Chaucer’s book was banned in the United States in 1873 for containing “obscene,” “filthy,” and “inappropriate” material.



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