More Suppression of Free SpeechPlease note that the publisher had actually serious plans.
And then went chicken.
I have seen this story in a number of places, but Roger Simon's summary seems the best one to me.
That the publishers reference the “Satanic Verses” in their defence is yet more despicable. In the early 1990s, when I was president of West Coast Branch of PEN, we did everything in our power to defend Rushdie against the attempts to suppress his freedom of speech. Random House does nothing for its own authors. The natural conclusion of their behavior in this instance is that nothing critical of Islam could ever be written.
PEN and the Author’s Guild should launch an investigation into this situation and if the allegations are true, should urge a boycott of Random House until it changes its policy. If I were Jones, I would sue the publishing house for all they’re worth.
[Full disclosure: I had three novels published by a division of Random House in the 1980s - Villard Books. At that point, I was very satisfied with the publisher and could not imagine them rejecting a manuscript for the reasons they are now. It’s a different world.]
Well, I figure I can boycott Random House for the foreseeable future, or at least just read their books from library copies, assuming I can figure out which books are from Random House.