Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hide Your Kids From Haruki Murakami's Books!

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 11:20 AM

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I'm personally a big fan of Haruki Murakami's work (Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is one of those books I re-read every 18 months or so), so my perspective is tainted, but I tend to not think of his book about youth and loss in 1960's Tokyo, Norwegian Wood, as a "lesbian sex book", but then again, the people who write stories at Fox News might not actually be able to read:

A New Jersey school district has apologized to parents after requiring high school students to read books that include graphic depictions of lesbian sex and a homosexual orgy.

“Some of the language is inappropriate,” said Chuck Earling, superintendent of Monroe Township Schools in Williamstown, N.J. “We were not trying to create controversy. We were just trying to get students to read.”

[...]

One book, “Norwegian Wood,” was on a list for incoming sophomores in an honors English class. The book includes a graphic depiction of a lesbian sex scene between a 31-year-old woman and a 13-year old girl, according to a report first published in the Gloucester County Times.

“I don’t think that’s relevant for any teenager,” parent Robin Myers told the newspaper. Her daughter was assigned to read the book. “I was just kind of in shock,” she said.

[...]

Peter Sprigg, with the Family Research Council, said he’s not surprised by the controversy surrounding the books.

“Here we see the intersection of parental values being offended, the hyper-sexualization of our youth and the homosexual agenda being pushed,” Sprigg told Fox News Radio. “This just illustrates why a lot of American parents are not willing to entrust their children to the public schools anymore.”

Maybe New Jersey isn't exactly the best state to have a discussion about what's good for children, since the impression most Americans have of the state's youth culture consists of fist-pumping, binge drinking, and how orange Snooki's skin is. However, I'm a parent, so it's not like I don't understand the idea of protecting the minds of children, but I think I'd rather have my son and daughter reading, asking questions, and experiencing fully formed chararacters with realistic emotional responses to life's twists and turns than them getting their cultural information exclusively from the music of Pitbull and the various shows about teen moms.

On a related note, this week's New Yorker has an excerpt from Murakami's newest novel 1Q84. The plot involves cats and some sort of futuristic 1984-ish world, and I believe lacks lurid lesbian sex, for better or worse. Good luck keeping your thoughts pure reading that trash, if you choose to.

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