“Now people will be forced to buy a copy!” Actor Steve Martin preferred to play the irony card when he learned Tuesday that his novel Shopgirl was part of the long list of books banned from the libraries of Collier County Public School, a large complex in a fifty schools in Florida. Last week, more than 300 books deemed to be controversial were removed from the shelves of school libraries in this school complex, causing some incomprehension in the region. The wave of book bans across the United States has reached a level not seen in decades.
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Faced with this decision, Steven Martin reacted with humor on his Instagram account: “So proud to see my book Shopgirl being banned from Collier County, Florida! Now people will be forced to buy a copy!” This decision was taken on the sidelines of the new law called “Let Kids Be Kids,” pushed by Florida Governor Ron De Santis, aimed at “preserving the innocence” of children. Among these works we find some classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur Clarke, but also three books by Ernest Emingway and 16 works by Steven King.
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Shopgirl, published in 2000 and adapted for film in 2005, tells the story of a young woman, single and depressed, who tries to find love by moving to California. She agrees, out of spite, to meet Jeremy, a lazy musician without much ambition. She will meet Ray Porter, a rich “Don Juan” from Seattle, and will try, not without difficulty, to build a relationship with him. Too sulfurous therefore for the taste of the actors of this cultural war which divides the United States.