Roxane Gay Pulls Book from Simon and Schuster, Citing Milo Yiannopoulous Deal

“I’m not interested in doing business with a publisher willing to grant him that privilege.”

Author Roxane Gay
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Responding to Simon and Schuster’s plans to publish “alt-right” troll Milo Yiannopoulous’s new book, Roxane Gay has officially pulled her forthcoming title, How to Be Heard, from the publisher’s TED Books imprint.

Gay spoke with BuzzFeed News about the decision: “I kept thinking about how egregious it is to give someone like Milo a platform for his blunt, inelegant hate and provocation. I just couldn’t bring myself to turn the book in…I guess I’m putting my money where my mouth is.” On Twitter, she added, “I can afford to take this stand. Not everyone can. Remember that.”

At the end of last year the publishing house announced that its Threshold Books imprint had reached an agreement to publish Yiannopoulous’s forthcoming memoir, the cover of which resembles a cologne advertisement, and that Yiannopoulous would be paid a $250,000 advance. Electric Literature covered the initial book world backlash, but if you need any further confirmation that Milo Yiannopolous is a resoundingly horrid person, try reading literally any of the content he has ever produced.

Earlier this week, Carolyn Reidy, Simon and Schuster’s President and CEO, wrote to the house’s authors, assuring them that Yiannopoulous’s book would not contain hate speech: a bold claim, considering hate speech encapsulates nearly the entirety of the author’s public persona.

Roxane Gay — the author of Bad Feminist and Difficult Women, not to mention an incisive cultural critic — was unswayed and asked her agent to sever her relationship with TED Books. While the future of How to be Heard remains unclear, we hope the book finds a new home and sells wildly.

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