5 most controversial novels

Every coin has two sides, so do every form of literature. Novels today is the most accepted form of literature. Some novels are hated, some are loved, and some are literary masterpieces. So here in this article I have come up with top 5 most controversial novels, which were criticized and hated by some but at the end proved to be a beautiful piece of literature.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ by Maya Angelou


The Late Maya Angelou is the most banned author in the U.S. Most of her books have been into some or the other controversies.  Therefore the book that tops this list has to be her’s.  It is Angelou’s first book which was published in 1969, written as an autobiography is her masterpiece. This book talks about the miseries and hardships she has faced in her life, how she was outlawed, survived a rape, teenage pregnancy and racism in America.  Many School Officials, parents and other narrow minded people protested against it which led to a ban on this book.  According to these people the book explicitly portrays drug abuse, sex and torture and to some extend is anti-whites.

The Grapes of Wrath’ By John Steinbeck


This book is a literary masterpiece and was written by Steinbeck in 1939. This book talks about a very poor family called the Joads, from Oklahoma sharecroppers. Due to the great depression, Dust Bowl in 1930’s, many families like the Joads family were forced to abandon their homes and lands and moved to California in search of land, home and dignity. The book gives a very detailed description of the miseries this family had to go through, they were exploited, abused and was harassed. This book was burned, banned and initiated a very serious debate as people found the book way too exaggerated and superficial.

American psycho’ by Bret Easton Ellis


This novel was published in 1991. The book is in a form of a first person narrative and is about a man named Patrick Bateman who is a serial killer and a Manhattan Businessman. The book received a lot of criticism after its publication. Ellis even received a few death threats and hate mails. In Germany the book was declared unfit for minors and had restricted sales, in Australia the book is sold ‘Shrink-wrapped’ and is categorized under the ‘R-18’ category, it was banned in Queensland and only a ‘ Shrink-wrapped’ copy was allowed and in New Zealand also it was put under the ‘R-18’ category. This criticism was majorly because of extreme portrayal of violence against women.

The Satanic verses’ by Salman Rushdie


This novel was first published in United Kingdom in 1988. This book was inspired by the life of Prophet Muhammad. The book provoked various controversies especially amongst the Muslim community. This controversy had spread like fire especially in India and consequently the import of this book was banned. Rushdie was accused of misusing his freedom of speech. In 1989, the book caused a violent riot in Pakistan, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Supreme Leader of Iran and a shi’a Muslim scholar, issued a fatwa calling on all Muslims to kill Rushdie and his publishers.

And Tango Makes Three’ by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell


This book is a children’s book and was published in 2005. The book is based on a real story of two male penguins of the New York’s Central Park Zoo named Roy and Silo. It describes six good years of their life and how they got an egg and raised it together.  The book won a few prizes as well and was declared to be a very challenging book. Many groups raised their opinions against this book as for them the book was promoting the idea of ‘Homosexuality’, ‘Same-sex marriage’ and ‘Adoption’ amongst children.

Sakshi Sharma



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