Challenged Works

A Jest of God

By Margaret Laurence

A Jest of God—which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction in 1966—depicts the unhappy life of an elementary schoolteacher in small-town Manitoba.


In 1978, a school trustee in Etobicoke, Ont., tried but failed to remove this novel from high school English classes. The trustee objected to the portrayal of teachers “who had sexual intercourse time and time again, out of wedlock.” He said the novel would diminish the authority of teachers in students’ eyes.

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