Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Banned Because of 'Generous Bazoongas,' Author Fights Back

There is probably nothing that an author hates more than having a book banned from a public or school library. But, with a little creativity and the desire to fight back, a savvy author can turn a book banning into a positive thing. After all, free publicity is a very good thing for anyone trying to sell something to the general public.

Today's Globe and Mail tells the story
of Canadian writer Nicky Tate who is " taking her bazoongas to Saskatchewan" in order to give away copies of her newly banned children's book.

The publisher learned of the ban this summer after school librarian Debbie Wagner called to complain about scenes of bullying, one of which includes the use of the word bazoongas to describe part of female anatomy. "I feel so strongly that what's happened there is wrong," Ms. Tate said yesterday. "My message to the students is, 'If you want to read this book, here it is.' " The novel will be available free to any elementary pupil in Kindersley who requests the title. The public library in the town of 4,500 is helping with the give-away program (the Kindersley branch carries a single copy of the title, which is currently checked out). The combined student populations of Elizabeth and Westberry elementary schools is nearly 600.
Trouble on Tarragon Island is the third in the series set on a fictional Gulf Island in British Columbia. It features a 13-year-old girl named Heather Blake who wrestles with her feelings about her grandmother's behaviour, which includes breaking the law to protest against clear-cut logging.

When the grandmother poses for a nude calendar as a fundraising gimmick, the girl becomes the target of schoolyard taunts.

"What they say about my grandmother is true," the girl says. "She does have generous bazoongas, and all of Tarragon Island has seen them."

Ms. Tate said she chose bazoongas over other more common but ruder slang terms.

"I was looking for something a little humorous without being obscene," she said. "The language that is used by children in schools can be quite foul."
As so often happens, another banned book is going to find a larger audience as a result of being banned than it otherwise would have. You just have to love the way this kind of thing keeps blowing up in the face of all those overzealous book banners out there.


  1. Good for Nicky Tate! I'm sure none of these children who might be offended by "bazoongas" watch any television.

  2. I'm glad she was able to turn this into something positive. It seems the best revenge against such narrow-minded self-appointed 'guardians' of others' morals.

  3. Great point, Jenclair. Heck, I'm shocked at some of the things I see on the public airways in the early hours of the evening...kids think it's normal. That's sad.

  4. I agree, Heather. It always cheers me up to see book banners sell books for the banned author. :-)