Death Row Fiction
by Confessed Serial Killer Danny Rolling
Anne Rice: We are facing a new era of censorship in the name of political correctness. There are forces at work in the book world that want to control fiction writing in terms of who "has a right" to write about what. Some even advocate the out and out censorship of older works using words we now deem wholly unacceptable. Some are critical of novels involving rape. Some argue that white novelists have no right to write about people of color; and Christians should not write novels involving Jews or topics involving Jews.
All this is dangerous. We have to stand up for the freedom of fiction writers to write what they want to write, no matter how offensive it might be to someone else. We must stand up for fiction as a place where transgressive behavior and ideas can be explored. We must stand up for freedom in the arts. We must stand up for the despised.
It is always a matter of personal choice whether one buys or reads a book. No one can make you do it. But internet campaigns to destroy authors accused of inappropriate subject matter or attitudes are dangerous to us all. That's my take on it. Ignore what you find offensive. Or talk about it in a substantive way. But don't set out to censor it, or destroy the career of the offending author.
Joyce Carol Oates: There is no art in violence, only crude, cruel, raw, and irremediable harm, but there can be art in the strategies by which violence is endured, transcended and transformed by survivors.
Where there is no meaning, both death and life can seem pointless, but where meaning can be discerned, perhaps even violence can be redeemed, to a degree.