Big Win for ‘Part-Time Indian’ in School Censorship Battle

Cover detail from The Absolutely True Story of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Editor's Note:

Watch how we get from Sherman Alexie to Edward Gorey with a stop off at Wonder Woman and Ayn Rand – all in today’s Daily Blunt.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) reports that Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian will indeed be available to ninth graders in Wisconsin’s Sauk Prairie high school, unanimously approved despite local parents’ complaints that the book contained “shocking words of profanity, sexual innuendo and violence.” While this counts as an unequivocal victory for free speech, the CBLDF points out that the school board has tried to maintain an air of secrecy regarding its deliberation of this matter, inspiring a local newspaper to file a Freedom of Information Act request to make sure all this becomes a matter of public record. Alexie’s book remains one of the most often challenged by schools, despite winning the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

If the recent Wonder Woman film has piqued your curiosity about what the heroine’s been up to lately in the comics, here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor of a new series. Diana Prince is forming a biker gang with the likes of Harley Quinn and Hawkgirl in Gotham City Garage, battling an alternative universe version of Lex Luthor who “reigns supreme over an idyllic Gotham city that’s been renamed ‘the Garden.'” This exciting new chapter in Wonder Woman’s career will premiere as digital issues in August before its print release in October.

Ayn Rand’s objectivist philosophies (and those who adhere to them) are a source of much bemusement in academic circles, but clinical psychologist Bruce E. Levine makes a strong case for Rand’s lessons having seriously affected American’s response to social and economic issues, scrutinizing a figure who “made selfishness heroic and caring about others weakness” and pointing out the various politicians who have cited her as an inspiration, including Alan Greenspan and Ronald Reagan. What if it’s still Rand’s world, and we’re just living in it?

Time to update your summer vacation plans: The Edward Gorey House in Cape Cod beckons. Home to the celebrated author and artist from the 1980s onward, this dwelling has become a literary tourist destination that doesn’t give up its secrets easily: “Forming a macabre scavenger hunt, there are scenes from The Gashleycrumb Tinies, on of his most famous morbid books recounting the grisly deaths of twenty-six youngsters in thirteen rhyming couplets, hidden throughout the museum.” There are also rumors of a secret door leading to what used to be Gorey’s private book hoard. Don’t forget to pet his cats!