Books Somebody Might be Offended, Somewhere
posted by August 6 at 16:05 PMon
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books brings news (along with Galleycat) that Random House is stopping publication of The Jewel of Medina, a book about one of Mohammed’s wives that was supposed to be released this week. Apparently, they’re frightened of Islammyfascists.
The book by Sherry Jones is a work of historical fiction based on the life of Aisha, one of the wives of the prophet Mohammed. Random House paid a $100k advance for the work but when UT Professor Denise Spellberg read an ARC, she denounced the book as a “very ugly, stupid piece of work” (note to authors: Don’t ask her for a cover quote. Ever.) and said, “I don’t have a problem with historical fiction. I do have a problem with the deliberate misinterpretation of history. You can’t play with a sacred history and turn it into soft core pornography.”
Wait, wait, before you pound your head on your desk, there’s more. Ms. Spellberg alerted Shahed Amunullah, a guest lecturer and editor of altmuslim.com, who spread the word to a listserv of Muslim graduate students. From there that email appeared the website “Hussaini Youth,” and within three hours, a person published “a seven-point strategy to ensure ‘the writer withdraws this book from the stores and apologise all the muslims across the world.’”
I wonder if The Satanic Verses would be published by any major New York publisher in this day and age? Somehow, I doubt it.
(Thanks to Slog tipper Sweeney.)