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From Jean Genet to Sarah Waters: Moscow libraries told to ‘recycle’ books that fail ‘LGBT propaganda’ test
Moscow libraries have received a government-issued list of books that must be written off and “recycled,” due to content that runs against the grain of Russia’s new law against “LGBT propaganda.” This information was published by the journalist and literary critic Sergey Lebedenko, on Telegram.
The memo was distributed to libraries on Friday, December 16. It lists 53 titles, all to be written off and deleted from electronic library catalogs — including books by John Boyne, Michael Cunningham, Stephen Fry, Jean Genet, Haruki Murakami, Sarah Waters, as well as numerous Russian writers — Eduard Limonov, Vasily Rozanov, Oxana Vasyakina, and others.
The directive to recycle these books, writes Lebedenko, probably means that in the end they will be simply burned. While final decisions are left to library directors, libraries are expected to report on their compliance with the memo.
Earlier this month, Meduza reported that Moscow libraries were hiding copies of books written by authors designated “foreign agents” or writing against the official grain, either by criticizing the Ukraine war or by embracing the so-called “non-traditional relationships.”
After the new anti-LGBT censorship law took effect, Russia’s larger bookstore chains stopped displaying books like Summer in a Pioneer Tie and What the Swift Doesn’t Say by Elena Malisova and Katerina Silvanova.
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