Tropic of Cancer (Obelisk Press, 1934)
This classic Henry Miller novel has been described as the reason for “free speech that we now take for granted in literature.” First published in 1934 by Paris publisher, Obelisk Press, it was banned in the U.S. In 1961,
U.S. publisher Grove Press published an edition which led to obscenity trials that tested American laws on pornography. In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the book non-obscene.
Tropic of Cancer is an autobiographical novel chronicling Miller’s Parisian nomadic lifestyle between 1930 and 1934, the years he was a struggling writer. There are numerous passages that explicitly describe his sexual encounters.
Tropic of Cancer also faced banishment from Canada and the UK. Today, it stands as a masterpiece of 20th century literature. In 1970, Tropic of Cancer was adapted into a film starring Rip Torn, Ellen Burstyn and James T. Callahan. The film was rated X at the time (equivalent to an NC-17 rating today).