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Knopf Publishing Official Statement Condemns Censorship by New Rochelle Schools

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Knopf Publishing Official Statement Condemns Censorship by New Rochelle Schools

December 11, 2008 - 17:28

119D9718-9F70-4F99-A5F3-6284B26863B2.jpgKnopf stands against the New Rochelle High School’s censorship of Girl, Interrupted.

Official Statement from Knopf Publishing

The English Department of the High School in New Rochelle, by removing pages deemed “inappropriate” from Susanna Kaysen’s memoir, Girl, Interrupted, has committed an act of censorship.

Girl, Interrupted, hailed upon its publication in 1993 by various journals and newspapers across the country—and translated by publishers all over the world—has established itself as a classic. It is a work of great power and subtlety, seamlessly constructed by its author, and published by Knopf as it was intended to be read, i.e., in its entirety. Its integrity—indeed the integrity of any book—must not be violated by the schools or by anyone, and Knopf will vigorously protect and defend the rights of all authors against any attempt at censorship. It is perhaps particularly shocking that the English Department chose to bowdlerize the book, leaving a gaping hole in the text and jagged edges on the pages, in order to censor it.

This country has a rich history of protecting First Amendment rights. All those who care about artists and artistic creation must stand against those who attempt to limit that freedom. Knopf stands against the New Rochelle High School’s censorship of Girl, Interrupted.

It is only appropriate that the Board of Education of the City School District of New Rochelle has directed that “the full text of the book, as originally published, shall be substituted immediately,” a satisfactory redress of the situation.