An Alabama state senator is pushing to ban the first novel of Nobel and Pulitzer winner Toni Morrison on the grounds that its content and language are "objectionable."
State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, a Republican, wants The Bluest Eye pulled from high school reading lists, and says he also would support pulling it from high school libraries, according to the Alabama Media Group.
"The book is just completely objectionable, from language to the content," Holtzclaw said of the book, which includes mention of incest and child molestation.
The novel is based in Lorain, Ohio, Morrison's hometown, and details the story of Pecola Breedlove, a black girl who wishes for blue eyes so she can be praised and admired. The book was featured in Oprah's Book Club, Oprah Winfrey's effort to get more of America reading. Morrison, author of 10 novels, is professor emerita at Princeton University and serves on the editorial board of The Nation magazine.
Morrison wrote The Bluest Eye in 1970, while she was teaching at Howard University and, as a divorcee, raising her two sons on her own.
Holtzclaw made the comments as he was announcing his reelection campaign. The Alabama Media Group reports that the Madison County, Ala., Republican Executive Committee was preparing a now-aborted censure against Holtzclaw for not publicly opposing Common Core, the federal Department of Education's effort to make schools more competitive and to push critical thinking.