Ted Dawe: why we need to talk about teen sex
Radio NZ 22 December 2015
Author Ted Dawe says he is still angry at the way a Christian group had his book Into the River banned, and says they were “vindictive”.
The matter was finally resolved in October, and Into the River, for young adults, was allowed back on the shelves with no rating. It includes sex scenes, drug use and swearing.
Of course, all the controversy massively boosted interest – there is still a waiting list for Into The River at many libraries, and Mr Dawe was now working with a US publisher, with the book due to be released there next year.
He told Nine To Noon today the whole saga proved that literature needed to be prepared to roll its sleeves up and get dirty, and to say the unsayable – but he remained angry at how the whole process unfolded.
But Family First disagreed with Mr Dawe’s point of view, with national director Bob McCoskrie calling it “sour grapes”.
“It’s unjustified,” Mr McCoskrie said. “You actually had the New Zealand Herald editorial agreeing with our concerns. Members of the censorship board also agreed with our concerns to the point that they felt it did deserve a rating. And in fact Ted Dawe himself said that there should be a restriction.
“We never asked for the book to be banned, we simply said that it should be age-restricted. Many people agreed with us,” Mr McCoskrie said.
Family First was simply acting on behalf of all families, Mr McCoskrie said. “Christian, non-Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist. We’re simply raising the issue about freedom of speech versus protection of children. That’s not actually a religious issue.”