Reviews

Authors spit dummy and resign from Rowling’s literary agents

 

Goodbye-ee!  Goodbye-ee!
Wipe the tear, baby dear, from your eye-ee.
Though it’s hard to part I know
We’re quite happy to see you go…

As we learned from the Guardian yesterday, a small group of authors have thrown their toys out of the pram and flounced off the Blair Partnership’s list of clients because they couldn’t bully the literary agency into kowtowing to their inflated sense of entitlement by making some pointless, cringeworthy gestures.

Obviously, the Guardian doesn’t put it quite like that, going instead for more subtle, low-key humour and saying the four had “resigned after accusing the company of declining to issue a public statement of support for transgender rights”.

Wow! They actually accused them of that? How very, um, serious.

I mean, really? They resigned not because of anything the agency did but because of something they wouldn’t do, something there was no need to do. Further down the Guardian piece we learn that not only did the authors want a public statement but they wanted the company to “conduct staff training with the group All About Trans”, a group that promotes itself as “Positively changing how the media understands and portrays transgender people”.

But why? Had the Blair Partnership said or done anything, either publicly or internally, that could be construed as anti-trans? It seems not.

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‘My Brother’s Name is Jessica’ by John Boyne

I had no problem teaching my children to read pre-school or in nurturing their love of reading fiction. I was immensely proud of them, though I admit there was a large element of self-interest in encouraging them to early literacy. With a library at the end of our street, it was to prove a low cost and effective way of giving me a break from them, annoying little beasts that they were.

I quite liked reading the books written for their age groups before passing them on to one or other of them, as long as it was a good story that was well-written with believable characters and I didn’t have to constantly remind myself that whatever I was reading was written for youngsters, as I did with John Boyne’s latest offering. Although according to this interview, he claims not to write with a particular audience in mind, that just doesn’t ring true with this book which, of course, I only bought because people were calling for it to be boycotted. If there hadn’t been a fuss made about it, it wouldn’t have been on my radar and how depressing it is that the would-be censors of today have learned nothing from the past.

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