Rupi Kaur's "Milk and Honey" among 11 banned books in US classrooms

The poet's book discussed variegated issues including LGBTQIA+, death, student health etc.
Picture Courtesy: TNIE/Flickr
Picture Courtesy: TNIE/Flickr

 A Canadian-Sikh poet, whose Twitter account was withheld in India last month over the Khalistan issue, now has her debut work among the 11 most banned books in the US classrooms for the first half of the 2022-23 school year.

Rupi Kaur's 'Milk and Honey', which was released in 2014, was banned for exploring issues of sexual assault and violence, according to data provided by the non-profit PEN America, stated IANS.

The book, banned in multiple districts in Missouri in the United States of America this year, tied in ninth place with Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye', according to the report. Both books were reportedly banned in 10 districts in the first half of this school year alone.

"It deeply concerns me that there is a group of people hell-bent on taking away literature that students find refuge in," Punjab-born Kaur wrote in an Instagram post last week.

Apart from violence, the rest of the titles in the list discussed race and racism, LGBTQ+ characters, grief or death, student health and well-being, teen pregnancy, abortion or sexual assault. Kaur's other works encompass subjects of love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity, and migration.

"Parents want to ban books to protect their kids but teachers and librarians say that students are old enough to be aware of the topics discussed in these books. Many actually seek these books out because they're going through those experiences themselves," she wrote.

This isn't the first time Kaur responded to her book being banned. She commented on Instagram about a ban that went into effect in two states last year, according to NBC News. 

The Sun and her Flowers (2017) and Home Body (2020) are among the other titles that Kaur has written. These collections have sold over 11 million copies and have been translated into over 43 languages, with Milk and Honey surpassing Homer's Odyssey as the best-selling poetry of all time, according to Kaur's website.

She was also regarded as "writer of the decade" by the New Republic and recognised on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. In 2022, Kaur released her fourth book, 'Healing Through Word'. 

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