Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Contrast & Compare

Today's Lunch Deluxe email newsletter from Publishers Marketplace was a study in contrasts, with these headlines:
Medina "Suspended" in UK
Director's Jesus Book a Dutch Bestseller
The Bookseller reports on THE JEWEL OF MEDINA, the novel about Muhammed's wife Aisha, whose UK publisher was firebombed over the weekend (see Quote for the Day--Make that Every Day). Ballantine dropped the book in the US, after a (Jewish!) advance reader warned that the book could foment trouble, then passed along word about it to a Muslim website, which was followed by--surprise!--incendiary attacks, rhetorical and actual.
The UK publication of The Jewel of Medina is in "suspended animation" according to Gibson Square's external sales team Compass, following this weekend's attempted attack on publisher Martin Rynja's house. Alan Jessop, m.d. of Compass, this morning (Tuesday 30th September) spoke to Rynja who said he would be taking some time out to decide whether to continue with plans to publish the controversial historial novel. Jessop said: "He is in good spirits, but has put publication in suspended animation while he reflects and takes advice on what the best foot forward is."
Then we have JESUS OF NAZARETH, co-written by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, currently in its 4th printing in Holland "after a big promotional campaign." Per the Hollywood Reporter, "Verhoeven suggests that Jesus was the son of Mary and a Roman soldier who raped her."

WOW!!! Now that's incendiary! How interesting that there have been no reports so far of any arson, or even outrage. How wonderful it would be to live in a world where no author or publisher would have to fear censorship or violence.

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