Roxane Gay just pulled her book from Simon & Schuster — here’s why
There was just some pretty big drama in the literary world, and we’re still in shock right now, TBH. Why? Because Roxane Gay just pulled her book from her publisher, making quite the statement. So here’s the deal: According to NY Mag, Roxane Gay’s book, How to Be Heard, was originally going to be published by Simon & Schuster in 2018 via their TED Books imprint. Now it won’t be, because she’s taking a stance.
Basically, here’s what happened: neo-Nazi, infamous internet troll, and violent racist Milo Yiannopoulos got a book deal from Simon & Schuster. Yeah, it’s as bad as it sounds.
The $250,000 deal from Threshold Editions, a branch of Simon & Schuster. Needless to say, many authors weren’t happy. The entire literary internet went into a panic as they tried to figure out the right way to protest this clearly problematic situation. Boycott the entire publisher? Tweet at them? Ultimately, people made their decisions for themselves, as is best, because there’s no one way to handle a situation as complicated as this.
In response, Simon & Schuster told the Associated Press,
"We have always published books by a wide range of authors with greatly varying, and frequently controversial opinions," Simon & Schuster said, and asked readers to "withhold judgment until they have had a chance to read the actual contents of the book."
So pulling her book is how Roxane Gay chose to respond. In a statement to BuzzFeed, she wrote,
“To be clear, this isn’t about censorship. Milo has every right to say what he wants to say, however distasteful I and many others find it to be. 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.
All we can say is that we send major love your way, Roxane Gay. We know this took bravery, and we’re here for it.