Virginia politician sues Barnes & Noble to prevent sale of fantasy book

SCS reports that a Virginia state legislator is filing a restraining order against the Barnes & Noble bookstore chain in an attempt to get them to restrict access to certain books. It comes amid various attempts to ban and even burn some books across the US, prompting last week The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood to auction an “unburnable” version of the book to support the fight against censorship. In case you need another reminder that we live in a reality where those in power in the United States have stupid opinions about censorship, here’s the latest.

Republican attorney Tim Anderson, who sits in the Virginia House of Delegates, said in a Facebook Publish that he sued for his client Tommy Altman against Barnes & Noble and Virginia Beach Schools to prevent minors from buying or borrowing certain books without parental consent. Altman is currently a candidate for Congress, and this case is being filed on his behalf despite the fact that his campaign website proclaims that it supports freedom of expression. “My client, Tommy Altman, has now directed my office to seek a restraining order against Barnes and Noble and Virginia Beach Schools to prohibit them from selling or loaning these books to minors without parental consent,” says Anderson’s statement.

And which books do Anderson and Altman seek to restrict? As of this writing, there are two that the lawsuit singled out: Gender Queer, a memoir by Maia Kobabe; and A court of mist and furya fantasy novel by Sarah J. Maas.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Image courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing

Virginia Politician Wants To Ban Teens From Buying Sarah J. Maas’ Book

Gender Queer is a book that is under fire from critics across the United States, as things like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill gain traction. The American Library Association named it the most contested and censored number one book of 2021, so while I in no way agree with its restriction, I can at least understand how it fell on this conservative politician’s radar .

But A court of mist and fury? Not that I expect book bans to make sense, but this one seems particularly ridiculous. Best-selling author Sarah J. Maas has been writing fantastic books for years. her first novel throne of glass The series was released in 2012. This series consisted of eight novels and was marketed as a young adult fantasy with romantic elements. And the romantic elements are the; these books had a reputation for having surprisingly raunchy scenes for YA novels.

But these are not the ones who are targeted here. A court of mist and fury comes from the Meuse Next series, A court of thorns and roses, which is an adult high fantasy series. As Altman points out in his Facebook post, marketing for mist and fury calls it a “sexy, action-packed” novel. Like with throne of glasshe gained notoriety for his sex scenes, which led to him being named in this lawsuit.

However, it is a adult novel, that is, it is stored right next to A song of ice and fire by George RR Martin, a few aisles further Foreign by Diana Gabaldon, within easy reach of the Stephen King catalog, and very close to the whole romance section. are you really gonna tell me that A court of mist and fury is more explicit than anything we see in these books, or a number of others in the adult fantasy, science fiction, romance, horror, or general fiction sections? Barnes & Noble has company-wide shelving policies; Unless the stores in Virginia Beach put them in the wrong place, these books are not be shelved in the young adult or children’s sections of the store.

Anderson’s request for the restraining order states that “there is probably reason to believe that the book ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ is obscene for unrestricted viewing by minors.” It is also odd that it only points to this book and not the rest of the series. A court of mist and fury is the second of four books. So I guess the others are fine?

Anderson’s post also states that “We are in for a major fight. Lawsuits like this can be filed throughout Virginia. There are dozens of books. Hundreds of schools.

If only the brawl had something to do with teen welfare instead of pandering to voters who seemingly lend themselves to censorship. The most disconcerting part is that, according to Anderson, their request is apparently taken quite seriously by the Virginia Beach Circuit Court, which “has found probable cause that the books Gender Queer and A court of mist and fury are obscene for unrestricted viewing by minors. The lawyer calls it a “major legal victory”.

Barnes & Noble pushed back against the Virginia lawmaker’s case, telling CBS he was carrying “thousands of books whose subject matter might be offensive to some.”

We ask our customers to respect our responsibility to offer this range of reading material, and to also respect that, even if they have chosen not to buy it themselves, it may be of interest to others.

Hear hear.

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