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Roxane Gay pulls S&S US book due to Yiannopoulos deal

Author Roxane Gay has pulled her book How to Be Heard from Simon & Schuster (S&S) in response to the far-right journalist Milo Yiannopoulos’ book deal with the US publisher’s conservative imprint Threshold Editions, reports BuzzFeed News.

In a statement to the website, Gay said she asked her agent to pull the forthcoming title from the publisher’s TED Books imprint last weekend.

Gay recognised that TED Books and Threshold are ‘vastly different imprints’ and said that the decision ‘isn’t about censorship’, but about ‘putting my money where my mouth is’.

‘Milo has every right to say what he wants to say, however distasteful I and many others find it to be,’ said Gay. ‘He doesn’t have a right to have a book published by a major publisher but he has, in some bizarre twist of fate, been afforded that privilege. So be it. I’m not interested in doing business with a publisher willing to grant him that privilege.’

The Bad Feminist author also said she is ‘fortunate enough to be in a position to make this decision’ and said she recognises that ‘other writers aren’t’.

The publisher has not yet released a comment. Gay’s decision follows a recent letter written by S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy to reassure the publisher’s staff and authors that the company ‘does not support or condone [or] publish hate speech’.

In the letter, Reidy also wrote that Yiannopoulos’ book will be a ‘substantive examination of the issues of political correctness and free speech’, and explained the decision to acquire the title was ‘made without the involvement or knowledge of [Simon & Schuster’s] other publishers’.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, the initial announcement of Threshold’s book deal with Yiannopoulos attracted criticism within the publishing industry and ignited a debate over freedom of speech.


Category: International news