New Mexico school considers banning Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere"

The fantasy novel might be removed from classrooms after one parent reported "inappropriate content"

By Prachi Gupta
Published October 14, 2013 8:28PM (EDT)

Alamogordo High School in New Mexico has "temporarily removed" Neil Gaiman's novel "Neverwhere" from its courses after the mother of a sophomore student complained about "inappropriate content," reports the Alamogordo Daily News.

Gaiman's fantasy book, based on his BBC television series, follows a London man who explores a magical world beneath the streets of London with a girl named Door. Although the school has been teaching "Neverwhere" since 2004, Nancy Wilmott complained about a sex scene and use of profanity.

"I reviewed the language personally. I can see where it could be considered offensive," said Superintendent George Straface, who is reviewing Wilmott's complaint. "The F-word is used. There is a description of a sexual encounter that is pretty descriptive, and it's between a married man and a single woman. Although kids can probably see that on TV anytime they want, we are a public school using taxpayer dollars.

"On that basis, we have decided to temporarily remove the book until we can review it with our panels and make a decision," he said.

If the decision rules in favor of Wilmott, the book will be banned. "Some people may call that censorship -- and I would say, 'Yes, it is.'"

If the ban passes, English teacher Pam Thorp (and possibly the rest of America) will rebel, saying, "I cannot and will not condone the censorship this parent is promoting."

h/t LATimes


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Banned Books Books Censorship Fantasy Neil Gaiman New Mexico