School is starting soon; you can tell because kids are finally reading the books on their summer reading lists and thinking, "holy crap there are lesbian sex scenes in this book!" And then some stupid kid rats out the book to their parents, and then they try to get one of the best authors alive removed from their kid's reading list.
From The Guardian:
Haruki Murakami's venerated novel of love and mental illness, Norwegian Wood, has been pulled off a reading list for New Jersey teenagers after a rash of complaints from parents.
The novel, which has inspired obsessive devotion from its fans in Japan and around the world since it was first published in 1987, is set in 1960s Tokyo, and tells of 19-year-old Toru Watanabe's relationships with two girls: troubled, vulnerable Naoko and impetuous Midori. The best known of Murakami's novels, it has sold more than 10m copies in Japan and 2.6m in translation.
Specifically, people were offended by the back story of Reiko, which involves a homosexual affair between a piano teacher and her conniving teenage student.
Parents also objected to the novel Tweak, a young adult book that features a "drug fueled, homosexual orgy." (Just picked up my copy, thank you.)
I think this is ridiculous, but it's also great publicity leading up to the publication of Murakami's new book,IQ84, due out October 25th. In extra Murakami news, you can listen to an interview with translator Jay Rubin over at The New Yorker.