City Lit Theater to Read Books on the Chopping Block at Chicago Venues

Festival director Katy Nielsen. City Lit Theater will celebrate Banned Books Week with Books on the Chopping Block, a series of reading from banned books at venues around the city September 23-October 1. This is the 12th annual banned books celebration by City Lit. All events are free to the public. Books on the Chopping Block is a 60-minute program made up of five-minute readings from the top 10 challenged books of 2016, along with an introduction on the background of the book and why it was challenged. Audience discussion will follow the readings. A total of 17 events are scheduled, including readings at the Harold Washington Library, 12 Chicago Public Library branches, the DePaul University library in Lincoln Park and two suburban libraries. For a complete schedule of readings, see City Lit’s website. There also will be a live radio broadcast on WLPN, 105.5 FM, at a date and time to be announced. The event is carried out through an alliance with the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, which each year releases a list of the 10 most frequently challenged books. Terry McCabe, City Lit artistic director, says that Books on the Chopping Block actively celebrates the books most at risk and calls attention to the would-be censor's threat to an educated democracy. “Our focus is literate theater, so we are naturally concerned by attempts to keep books away from people,” McCabe says. Funding for Books on the Chopping Block is provided by the Seabury Foundation and the Freedom to Read Foundation. Related post: See Censored! We Read Banned Books for Third Coast Review’s event.
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Nancy S Bishop

Nancy S. Bishop is publisher and Stages editor of Third Coast Review. She’s a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and a 2014 Fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. You can read her personal writing on pop culture at, and follow her on Twitter @nsbishop. She also writes about film, books, art, architecture and design.