I heard the following on the podcast for the literary journal Liberties. The host was referring to an article she read in the New York Times:
She basically said what I think everyone knows to be true, which is that there are so much etiquette and rules inside the publishing industry around who is allowed to publish what and what writer is allowed to write what kind of thing. You have to be this gender and this color and have this color eyes and have to be brunette in order to write this kind of book and everybody knows it. I think there was an anecdote in the essay, something to the effect that she knows agents who will not pitch books by white men even though they’re great books because no publishing houses will take them. The two examples that she gave were . . . there were two books that were accepted for publication by two of the biggest publishing houses and then there was a revolt inside the houses. It was Mike Pence and Abigail Shrier. I think Shrier’s book got canceled and Pence’s didn’t. I think that it is definitely true and a thing that people are afraid to say.
I’m not complaining or claiming victimhood, but I guess that according to industry insiders, it’s a tough time to be a white man looking to publish a book. Darn, I am.
Here’s the whole episode for those interested. I was listening because I like William Deresiewicz writing and I’m in the middle of his new book of essays, The End of Solitude.
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