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Booksellers Association urges authors to support North Carolina stores amid boycotts

In the US, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) has called on authors not to punish North Carolina booksellers after Sherman Alexie cancelled an author talk in protest over the ‘Charlotte bathroom’ law, reports Publishers Weekly. A growing number of artists, musicians and businesses have boycotted the state following its legislature passing the controversial House Bill 2, which requires public bathrooms and changing facilities to be designated for use by males or females based on their biological sex as stated on their birth certificate, among other clauses. In a joint statement, the ABA, the Association of American Publishers, the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom, the Children’s Book Council, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance urged authors, illustrators and their publishers not to boycott North Carolina bookstores. ‘Many independent booksellers opposed HB2 in the legislature and are actively seeking its repeal,’ the statement reads. ‘In addition, they have a long history of fighting efforts to censor books with LGBTQ themes. The punishment for passing HB2 should fall on the governor and state legislators, not on booksellers who play a vital role in promoting tolerance and diversity’. Owner of Chapel Hill store Flyleaf Books Jamie Fiocco, who recently spoke at an Equality NC rally calling for the bill’s repeal, told the ABA’s Bookweb that in general he doesn’t want his store to take a political stand because he wants to ‘encourage everyone to feel welcome’. ‘But I feel that this particular legislative action has gone beyond the pale, and it’s not something I can stand by and not take a stand against,’ said Fiocco. ‘This is not the type of community that I want to cultivate.’


Category: International news