29 September 2011

Banned Books Week: Harper's Guest Post

Hi, this is Harper. As Cate said in her last post, I'm really into Banned Books Week, and suggested she blog about it (btw, I totally helped her with that post). I decided I wanted to do my own guest post.

My favourite banned books are definitely To Kill a Mockingbird and Harry Potter. I was named after TKaM's author. Both have movie adaptations, like Cate's pick, My Sister's Keeper. They're pretty well known, so I'm going to take a different kind of direction with my post.

What I find interesting is I feel like I am drawn to narratives that address racism and bigotry. Maybe that's because I grew up with a multicultural family (my dad is white and from the US state of Georgia, my mom is Berber and from Morocco), and I've lived in multiple places (Morocco, France, USA) so I'm used to things being different, and adapting to that. I love travelling because I love learning about how other people live their lives. One of my best friends, who was one of my high school teachers, practices Catholicism and I'm Muslim, yet we talk about religion all the time and really we have a lot in common. Or maybe it's because I've been a victim of bigotry because I sometimes wear a hijab when I'm going out or to school. (I don't wear it when I'm just around my friends. I guess I should get on people about not posting pictures of me when I'm not wearing it.) So I guess it frustrates me when people treat others like they are below them just because they look different or have a different religion or whatever.

To Kill a Mockingbird and Harry Potter both deal with bigotry and racism: against African Americans in the South in TKaM and against other magical species, wizards from non-magical families and muggles in Harry Potter (which is scarily similar to Nazi Germany, though that was not intended). I also find that, when I'm writing academic papers, I tend to focus on feminist or cultural issues. I was totally drawn to The Madwoman in the Attic, a founding feminist literary theory text... maybe only because I understood it right away. The authors' argument for how women had (have still?) been relegated to a lower status in literature - keeping with historical trends of feminism - was clear. But I think I just like reading and studying these issues because they resonate with me and my intolerance for intolerance.

Since my guest post was kind-of more serious than I originally intended, I'm leaving you with my transformation into 7th movie Hermione Granger. I'm an alien/curling my hair in the first picture. LOL

Also, my new favourite song. Don't talk to me about how hypocritical I feel about the grammar violation that is the title... I love it though.

PS: I'm on Cate's computer, and she set her default language to English (UK). It keeps telling me I'm spelling "mom" wrong. It should be "mum", apparently ;) Also, there are TONS of incriminating pictures on here. Not that I'm creeping, or anything. I'd be tempted to post them, if I could guarantee she'd speak to me again if she did. Haha.

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