Barnes & Noble has shelved their plans to release a collection of classic books with new culturally diverse covers following an internet backlash.
Penguin Random House and Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue had given twelve classic young adult novels
new covers, known as Diverse Editions. The books were meant hit the shelves on Feb. 5, and the books were to be on display in their massive storefront throughout the month of February.
Each title had five culturally diverse custom covers designed
to ensure the recognition, representation, and inclusion of various multiethnic backgrounds reflected across the country.
Following the news of the new covers, many Twitter users expressed their anger and disappointment over the situation. Example
Jesus. Slapping cartoon POC on books by white folks when the words within those books don't promote anything but the white narrative isn't diversity. Diversity is giving POC equal opportunity to be published
in a predominately white marketplace. Do better.
slapping Brown faces onto white stories is insulting. if #barnesandnoble wants to promote diversity, why not just promote classics written by diverse authors? they exist!
Barnes & Noble released a statement on Twitter acknowledging the concerns of the public and ultimately cancelling the release event at the store.
We acknowledge the voices who have expressed concerns about
the Diverse Editions project at our Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue store and have decided to suspend the initiative.
Diverse Editions presented new covers of classic hooks through a series of limited-edition jackets, designed by
artists hailing from different ethnicities and backgrounds. The covers are not a substitute for black voices or writers of color, whose work and voices deserve to be heard.
The booksellers who championed this initiative did so
convinced it would help drive engagement with these classic titles. It was a project inspired by our work with schools and was created in part to raise awareness and discussion during Black History Month, in which Barnes & Noble stores nationally
will continue to highlight a wide selection of books to celebrate black history and great literature from writers of color.
by Jeanine Cummins is available on 2020 Tinder Press Kindle Edition at UK Amazon
The publisher of Jeanine Cummins' new novel American Dirt has cancelled the remainder of her promotional tour as a result of a politically correct backlash.
The novel about a Mexican mother and her young son fleeing to the US border had
been praised widely before its 21 January release and was chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her book club.
But PC bullies who think they have the right to tell others what stories they can write have campaigned against the book for wrong think. Mexican
American writers have claimed that the book contains stereotypical depictions of Mexicans.
Julissa Arce Raya, the author of My (Underground) American Dream, argued American Dirt was not representative of her experience as an undocumented
immigrant in America. Author Celeste Ng shared a review calling Cummins' depictions of Mexico laughably inaccurate. Roxane Gay deplored Oprah's decision to elevate the novel.
Bob Miller, president of the book's publisher, Flatiron Books commented:
Jeanine Cummins spent five years of her life writing this book with the intent to shine a spotlight on tragedies facing immigrants. We are saddened that a work of fiction that was well-intentioned has led to such
Unfortunately, our concerns about safety have led us to the difficult decision to cancel the book tour.
Flatiron now plans to send Cummins to town-hall style events, where the author will be
joined by some of the groups who have raised objections to the book.
Offsite Comment: The offencerati just got a book tour cancelled
Librarians and free speech advocates are fighting back against a proposal in the Missouri House of Representatives that would ban certain books from the state's libraries with the threat of a misdemeanor charges meaning the possibility of jail for
Missouri House Representative Ben Baker introduced the bill, dubbed the Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act , in January that calls for the creation of a panel made up of non-library workers who will determine the removal of
age-inappropriate sexual material, from their local branch.
Libraries that don't comply will lose their funding. Library employees providing material deemed inappropriate would be hit with a misdemeanor charge and liable for a $500 fine or a maximum
jail sentence of a year, according to the bill's current language.
The bill is targeted at protecting minors but the impracticality of age verification and making adults only spaces would probably mean that the censored books would end up being banned
Cynthia Dudenhoffer, the president of the Missouri Library Association, said she was shocked when she first heard about the bill and said it was unnecessary. Each of the state's library systems, which account for a total of 365
branches, already have their own protocols in place to determine which materials are allowed for their younger members.
An anti-jewish book of historical interest has caused a bit of a stir in Australia after it was found to be available for sale on Amazon.
New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff wrote to Amazon Australia last week after seeing a
number of controversial titles for sale, including one titled Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Alhadeff wrote:
By providing a platform for individuals to buy and sell such flawed and racist texts, Amazon is in
fact contributing to the deeply concerning global increase in antisemitic incidents which we are currently witnessing.
Amazon has posted an explanation of why the book is for sale on the website:
Amazon does not endorse The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. This book is one of the most infamous, and tragically influential, examples of racist propaganda ever written. It may be useful to some as a tool in the teaching of the history of anti-Semitism, but it's unquestionably propaganda.
Does Amazon sell this book? We do, along with millions of other titles. The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is classified under controversial knowledge in our store, along with books about UFOs, demonic possession, and all
manner of conspiracy theories. You can also find books in other sections of Amazon's online bookstore that analyze The Protocols' fraudulent origins and its tragic historical role in promoting anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution, including A Lie and a
Libel: The History of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. As a bookseller, Amazon strongly believes that providing open access to written speech, no matter how hateful or ugly, is one of the most important things we do. And because we think the best
remedy for offensive speech is more speech, we also make available to readers the ability to make their own voices heard and express their views about this and all our titles in reviews and ratings.