Saturday, October 6, 2018

K. J. Reilly

K. J. Reilly graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in psychology, then headed to New York City to work in the marketing research departments of several of the largest advertising agencies in the world. She loves reading, writing, dogs, sailboats, children of all shapes and sizes, and growing her own food.

Reilly's new novel is Words We Don't Say.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
In a chapter of Words We Don’s Say, Eli, one of the main characters, stands up in English class and reads a long list of the countries where you could be arrested or put to death for reading the books they are reading in that class—and the list goes on for pages. It’s important for all of us to be reminded that criminalizing freethinking, banning books—and even burning books—isn't just reserved for other countries or the past, or regimes like the Nazis in Germany. Oppressive thinkers can't be geo or time tagged—they’re everywhere. And history repeats itself. Books have not only been banned and burned throughout time; they've been banned and burned all over the world—even in America in the 21st century.

So since free speech is an important theme in Words We Don't Say, and this week is Banned Books Week – September 23-29th – I’m re-reading as many banned books as I can—from And Tango Makes Three and The World of Pooh to 1984 and The Catcher in the Rye. When I read these books, it’s a very humbling reminder that we should never take our constitutional right to freedom of speech for granted, or forget how many people around the world don't share that right.
Visit K.J. Reilly's website.

--Marshal Zeringue