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

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


Prachi Gupta
October 15, 2013 12:28AM (UTC)

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.

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"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.'"

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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

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