Banned Books Readout Returns with Merman Love Story and Free Pizza

  • Guest author Melissa Broder will be a guest speaker at the Banned Books event.

    Banned Books Readout with Pizza will take place on Sept. 27 from 12:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the University Student Union, East Conference Center at the Lake View Terrace Room featuring guest author, Melissa Broder. Photo courtesy of Gina Flores.

The Delmar T. Oviatt Library at California State University, Northridge and a group of CSUN journalism students and professors will be celebrating banned and censored books with readings and free pizza.

The Banned Books Readout with Pizza will take place on Sept. 27 from 12:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the University Student Union, East Conference Center at the Lake View Terrace Room.

Guest author Melissa Broder will read from her new novel, The Pisces. Broder’s novel is about a woman named Lucy who cannot complete her dissertation after a dramatic breakup and agrees to dog-sit for her sister in Venice, Calif. She meets a surfer named Theo, finds out he is a merman and falls in love with him. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Broder is the author of the essay collection So Sad Today and four poetry collections, including Last Sext. Her poetry has appeared in POETRY, The Iowa Review, Tin House and Guernica, and she is the recipient of a 2017 Pushcart Prize.

Elizabeth Blakey, CSUN associate professor of journalism and First Amendment scholar, will speak on the topic of Celebration of the Freedom to Read.

“Books are challenged based on arguments that the books are offensive or inappropriate, but the First Amendment provides for freedom to read books without censorship by the government,” Blakey said. “At the Banned Books event, CSUN students will be reading the challenged books out loud to demonstrate this freedom.”
Established in 1982, Banned Books Week draws attention to banned or censored books and celebrates the freedom to read. Judith Krug, a librarian and First Amendment activist, created the nationwide event, which is promoted by the American Library Association (ALA).

The first “readout” at CSUN was organized by Blakey in 2012, with students presenting excerpts of censored books in the lobby of the Matador Bookstore Complex. Since then, the readout has grown and is now organized annually by the Delmar T. Oviatt Library faculty and staff and the Department of Journalism.

The event and the pizza are free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, please visit

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