William Pynchon’s influence weaves it’s way through American literary history. Nathanial Hawthorne’s House of the Seven Gables includes a character, Colonel Pynchon that is, according the Madsen (1999) a composite of John and William Hawthorne and William Pynchon” (p. 509). Hawthorne shares Pynchon’s status as banned author. His book The Scarlett Letter, was first banned in 1850. It was challenged due to “scenes of adultery without remorse” (Steinway, 2018).
It is no surprise that National Book Award winner, and revolutionary author Thomas Pynchon would be a descendent of William Pynchon. Notably, Thomas Pynchon’s work has also been subject to banning. He is one of the many authors on “The Modern Library’s list of Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century” to have been banned (American Libraries, 1998).
Finally, Pynchon’s legacy of controversial writing, as the first banned author in the America, continues. Writers are still sharing thought-provoking and progressive literature. Unfortunately, the attempts to prevent intellectual freedom also remains. Below is the ALA’s list of Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019. As, a librarian I am proud that some of the books on the list were ordered by me for our library collection. It is so important to share intellectual content and promote the spread of knowledge and ideas.