21 May 2009

Something for the Weekend...

From the mouth of Sherry Jones, UK citizens are being called upon to "...speak out against those who are limiting their right to read, think, speak, listen, debate, discuss, criticise... I hope the people of the UK can find the power, and the courage, to raise any outcry against censorship."

That all sounded very impressive on the Guardian homepage so I clicked through to the linked article. I wanted to see what this Sherry Jones person was protesting. Jones is angry that her book was dumped by Random House in the US before publication and now no UK publisher will pick it up. Jones is convinced that it is the controversial content that could offend the Muslim population that is the reason behind The Jewel of Medina's lack of publication.

However, and here's the amusing part, that's not the reason at all. According to the Guardian (full article here), Jones' book has been snubbed because it is 'absolutely awful', the prose is 'lamentable' and it can be summed up as 'an anachronistic bodice ripper'.

How embarrassing. The woman is out there campaigning for her book to be published, complaining that publishers are too scared of terrorist acts of retribution to pick up the title and it turns out that it is just... really, really bad.

So, no offence Sherry, but I'm not going to be organising a protest march for you in London anytime soon. If I'm going to be assaulted by the Met I want it to be for a good cause.

What I would like is for the one small publisher in the US who printed Jones' book to send me a proof copy, ASAP. I want to judge for myself the 'lamentable prose'. A shout-out to these guys, who simultaneously have the great courage to publish such a controversial title and the idiocy to think it was worth the risk.
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