Seven of the Most Controversial Books Published in English

Eliza | 04 - 25 - 2023
Controversial Books

Several controversial books have been published in English so far. The term “controversial” by itself does not have any exact definition. A book may seem controversial to a person, whereas it might not appear to be so to another individual. However, a number of books have been included in the list of “controversial” creations owing to their descriptions of violence, sex, adolescent characteristics, extra-marital affairs, blasphemy, profanity, and so on.

If you want to know the answer to the question, “What is the most controversial book ever written?” just read along to find out the answer.

In the following sections, we have described seven of the most controversial books published in English. Some of them are also the most banned books of all time in some countries.

The Satanic Verses is about two women who are trapped on a hijacked plane.
  • A. True
  • B. False
  1. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

First published in the year 1988, the story is about two men, Gibreel and Saladin, who get trapped on a hijacked plane. Eventually, they get saved by a miracle. The book also contains content that revolves around the life of Prophet Muhammad. This and many other elements in this book sparked the controversy, which led to protests and book burnings. Rushdie was under police protection for a while. No wonder this book belongs to the Top 10 Most Challenged Books Lists.

  1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger

The book was published in 1951. The protagonist is the 16-year old Holden Caulfield, who is precariously placed between childhood and adulthood. The book won a lot of critical acclaim. Over the years, it became one of the most favorite books of many, including Bill Gates! It has been included in many American schools’ curriculum. The book talks about sexuality and lots of subversive elements.

  1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

This book talks about an “alternative” Christian doctrine, which has offended lots of Roman Catholics in various countries. The book is all about these questions: “Was there a relationship between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene?” 

And, “Did it result in a secret bloodline that is protected by some secret society?” 

The book was sold in gazillions and is still being sold like hot cakes despite its controversial plotline. 

  1. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

It is about a teenage boy called Jerry and the abuse inflicted upon him. “The Chocolate War” angered lots of parents across America, and it contained content on sexuality and profanity. In spite of all these, Jerry’s bravery in the tumultuous situations continues to win many hearts.

  1. Ulysses by James Joyce

Written by the Irish writer, James Joyce, Ulysses is said to be one of the most significant works of modernist literature. The book was published in Paris, on the writer’s fortieth birthday. It has attracted both scrutiny and controversy. In 1921, this book went through an obscenity trial.

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

In the year 1847, Jane Eyre was published under,”Currer Bell,” which was a masculine pseudonym. It was one of those books written by Charlotte Bronte that were received with great acclaim. However, at a later stage, when people came to know that it was actually authored by a woman, it became a controversial subject.

  1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The story is set in Georgia in the 1930s. In 1983, Walker won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The book is also included in the American Library Association list. This literary work includes content on violence and has been targeted by censors. The novel is all about the lives of African-American women in the USA.

We hope you had a good read of seven of the most controversial books published in English. You can add them to your list of “to-be-read” books. You can then start reading these books with controversial content when you find time!

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