Today was the last day of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week. They have a list of the most “challenged” books from different years. The 2005 list still has J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, after 55 years of being in circulation! Other authors challenged over the years include Mark Twain (for Huck Finn), Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, John Steinbeck (we’ll all turn into communists if we read him), J.K. Rowling (can’t have un-Christian sympathies for Witchcraft), James Joyce (I can’t believe any of the challengers have actually read Joyce), Harper Lee and our own Bapsi Sidhwa. Predictably, Judy Blume, and anything to with sex ed or homosexuality makes the list. I guess people like Bataille and de Sade pass completely under the radar.
You can see a list of banned classics from Google and a pretty comprehensive list with reasons given for the banning, from banned-books.com. The list includes the American Heritage Dictionary from 1969 (?!)