About the book: The novel is the story of Sethe, a runaway slave, who slashed her two-year-old daughter’s throat with a handsaw rather than see her live a life in chains. Eighteen years later, as Sethe tries to rebuild her life and love with Paul D, a young woman suddenly appears, and the characters believe that she is the slain baby, returned.
Excerpt: “It was over before they could get their clothes off. Half-dressed and short of breath, they lay side by side resentful of one another and the skylight above them.”
The controversy: A school board member in Arlington Heights, Ill., objected based on excerpt of the book that she’d found on the Internet. But in 2006, the book was retained on the Northwest Suburban High School District 214 reading list in Arlington Heights, along with the other challenged titles. The book was also pulled from the senior Advanced Placement English class at Eastern High School in Louisville, K.Y., this year, because two parents complained that the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about antebellum slavery depicted the inappropriate topics of bestiality, racism, and sex.
Next The Bluest Eye