THE BLOG

4 Pervasive Literary Taboos

08/15/2014 08:06 am ET | Updated Oct 15, 2014

Even in 2014, our society is full of taboos -- those shameful things we condemn or ignore. Some writers not only acknowledge these taboos, but explore them unabashedly in daring books. Here some indies that celebrate topics that are not discussed in polite society.

Incest

The Crime of the Century by Joanne Myers
This work of nonfiction explores the ghastly murder of two teens in Rolling Hills, Ohio, believed to have been committed by a nudist named Richard Allan Lloyd. The two teens were Shane Shoemaker and his girlfriend, Babette. She was rumored to be in an incestuous relationship with Lloyd, who was her stepfather; at the time, people believed Lloyd killed his step-daughter in a jealous rage. The Crime of the Century explores many dark elements - including cults, Satanist suspects, and police corruption - but none are darker than the teens' deaths, which were reminiscent of the sickest horror films.

Abortion

Rapunzel Let Down, by Regina Dolman
The Fairytale Retold series by Regina Doman is at its heaviest in the six installment, Rapunzel Let down - so heavy, in fact, that Doman issued a note of caution with it. The novel explores the love story between a young couple divided by mortal sin. Now separated, they are each confronted by dragons - representing forced abortion and other evils, including pornography, rape and child molestation. The series is published by an independent, Catholic-themed press.

Prostitution

Around the World in 80 Men, by Brandi and Rebecca Ratliff
The authors of Around the World in 80 Men proclaim there will be 80 installments in this series about a high-end call girl called Morgan Holland - so far there are 20, each featuring a different location. The synopsis gives little away - perhaps it would be far too racy - but the story promises to feature "gorgeous, wealthy" clients who "know how to please a woman." The bed-hopping takes place in Romania, Texas, Argentina, Finland, Canada...

Polygamy

Child of Polygamy, by Kosi Avotri https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/kosi-avotri/child-of-polygamy/ In 1960s and 1970s Ghana, Safia lives in a polygamous family. Her mother is Christian, her father a traditional chief, each pulling her in the direction of their religious beliefs. This worsens for Safia when her mother becomes mentally ill, and she must live with her father and stepmother. It's a story about balancing the values of one belief system with the traditions of another.