Judy Blume on Why Trigger Warnings Make Her ‘Blood Boil’

2 minute read

Teen and children’s lit icon Judy Blume has a new book out for adults, In the Unlikely Event. In this week’s issue of TIME, the author talked about why she doesn’t consider herself a young adult novelist and the famous “we must increase our bust” catchphrase from her book Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

Blume also sounded off on the debate over trigger warnings:

TIME: You’ve been very active in fighting against censorship. Have you heard of trigger warnings?

Judy Blume: No, what are trigger warnings?

Some college students want trigger warnings in front of classics like Ovid that would say, “There’s going to be a reference to murder or rape here, so if you’re particularly sensitive to that, then don’t read this.”

That is making my blood boil! And I have heard of it, now that you tell me what it is. I mean, please! Let’s grow up.

Why does it make you upset?

Why are we treating college students like babies? You’re supposed to be challenged in college. We can have our beliefs and still read and discuss things. We don’t have to become zealots and say, “This has to be removed, and this has to be removed” and “You have to be warned here because oh, my goodness! Oh, my goodness!” There are many, many challenges to books. All you have to do is look at a bulletin of the National Coalition Against Censorship or the ALA’s Freedom to Read newsletter and you will see that there are still plenty of things being challenged. The desire to censor or ban or challenge is contagious.

Read the full interview with Blume here.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com