Another One Bites the Dust

Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

Well, that was even quicker, to be honest. I had poked around the GoodReads entry for A Place for Wolves and noticed that a couple of other YA authors had amended their previously glowing reviews to basically denounce the book for its supposed “Islamophobia.”

And now Vulture is reporting that Kosoko Jackson has withdrawn the book from publication. Of course, since it worked so well against Amelie Wen Zhao. Meanwhile, books demonizing Christians as evil bigots will continue to be published.

Another YA Author Withdraws Book From Publication After Backlash

February has been a scandal-filled month for the literary world, and it’s not over yet. The drama continued today as author Kosoko Jackson announced that his forthcoming debut YA novel, A Place for Wolves , will be withdrawn from publication after the author faced backlash for centering a story about the Kosovo War around two non-Muslim Americans.

Here are the two reviews in question – one from Heidi Heilig, who is famous for dogpiling on other authors, and Shaun David Hutchinson, who is, I guess, famous for writing gay-oriented YA books (I’ve read one of his books, We Are the Ants).

These people are such cowards. Honestly. I’ve only started to read my copy of the book, but I highly doubt it’s THAT bad. So here’s a screenshot of his website, which is now in “maintenance mode”, complete with a message:

I didn’t think to archive his site, which I am bummed out about. The media kit I linked to is also gone, but the PDF version of it is still available at the Dropbox link. If you’re curious, here’s a link to the most recent archive of his site at the Wayback Machine.

And, of course, a direct embed of his apology:

Kosoko Jackson on Twitter

From me to the Book Community: I’m Sorry.

It’s kind of hard to feel bad for these people. Both him and Ms. Zhao are leftists, and that’s pretty much the only reason why they caved to the pressure in the first place.

As for me, well…I still have a copy of the book, and I plan to read it, even though it’s already archived at NetGalley. There’s a button for me to offer feedback, so that’s what I will do.

Now, I am sure someone out there is wondering why I keep writing about this. Why, even though I don’t know these people, I’m not their ally, and my readership is so small. Well, I do it so that there’s a full record of what’s been happening. This stuff is seriously disturbing to me, and it’s more disturbing than if it were being done by the government. These are people being hounded into censoring themselves, all because a couple of people started bitching.

I also noticed that a great deal of people were giving the book one stars on Goodreads even though they hadn’t even read the book, and I bet that contributed a lot.

This makes me that much more determined to simply self-publish. There is no point in me trying to get published by any of these major publishers, or even smaller ones save for the ones that have already published the books of right-wingers. It’s just not worth it.

Oh, and one more thing. Reason.com has a good piece on the subject. Turns out Mr. Jackson isn’t so innocent himself:

He Was Part of a Twitter Mob That Attacked Young Adult Novelists. Then It Turned on Him. Now His Book Is Cancelled.

UPDATE: Shortly after this story was published, Sourcebooks announced that A Place for Wolves, the debut YA novel by Kosoko Jackson will be withdrawn from publication, at the request of the author. Until recently, Kosoko Jackson’s website described him as “a vocal champion of diversity in YA [young adult] literature, the author of YA novels featuring African American queer protagonists, and a sensitivity reader for Big Five Publishers.”