March 22, 1996
'Censored Books' Gets National Honor
By Ellie Walradth
UW-RF News Bureau
UW-River Falls English Professor Nicholas Karolides' book "Censored Books" was recently named Outstanding Book by the Gustavus Myers Center for the study of human rights in North America.
The Gustavus Myers Center presents annual awards for the best book on the subject of intolerance in North America. It is named in honor of the author of "History of Bigotry in the United States."
The Center asks publishers to nominate books that were published in the preceding year, and Censored Books was announced the winner on December 10, Human Rights Day.
"I'm very proud of it. It's a really fine and engaging book," says Karolides.
Karolides' book was published in 1993 by Scarecrow Press, Inc., and is a collection of 63 essays defending 60 books written for children and adults that are frequently censored.
Karolides says that "Censored Books" gives rationale for reading and teaching literature that is often challenged by censorship.
The essays explain the value in various literary works such as Judy Blume's "Forever," J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye," and Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery."
Some of the defending essays were written by authors whose own literature was censored at one time, says Karolides.
Five English professors at UW-RF contributed essays to the book: Richard H. Beckham, Marshall Toman, Robert Beck, Jim Mulvey, and Ron Neuhaus.
Karolides was involved in gathering and compiling all of the essays and assisted in editing the book. He is writing letters to inform the essayists of the award, who, he says, are equally deserving of credit.
He adds that the book is selling well, and apparently has sold out its first printing.
The book has also been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English. It was one of the five finalists for the Doublespeak award, says Karolides.
Karolides' writing career is ongoing. He has been solicited to do a book on political censorship and has begun the grueling task of reading the 120 books he has to peruse in order to write the book.
With writing as his avocation, Karolides is the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and an English professor at UW-RF.