A Chilling Rise in Book Bans in the United States: Background information when reading Our Missing Hearts

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Our Missing Hearts

A Novel

by Celeste Ng

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng X
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
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  • Published:
    Oct 2022, 352 pages


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A Chilling Rise in Book Bans in the United States

This article relates to Our Missing Hearts

Book jackets of frequently banned booksCeleste Ng's novel Our Missing Hearts is set in an alternate present in which the U.S. government has passed the Preserving American Culture and Traditions Act, which regulates, among other things, cultural influence deemed not sufficiently American. The main character's mother is a Chinese American poet whose works have been banned under the act. Ng's book is a product of the wave of reactionary racist, xenophobic attitudes in the U.S., and book banning is one way those attitudes are manifesting.

According to the American Library Association (ALA), 1,597 individual books were targeted for censorship or removal from libraries in 2021, the highest number since the ALA began keeping track over 20 years earlier. 2022 will break the record again, as there have been 1,651 books targeted between January and the end of August. ALA President Lessa Kananiʻopua Pelayo-Lozada states that the uptick in book banning attempts reflects "national efforts to silence marginalized or ...

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