Joanne Harris says she rejected book deal over request to remove ‘f-bomb’

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Best-selling novelist Joanne Harris has claimed she turned down a book deal after US publishers asked her to remove an expletive from the text.

The author, best known for his novel Chocolateshared the decision in a post to his Twitter followers.

According to Harris, the publishers had demanded that she remove an “f-bomb” from the novel A narrow door.

“Today I turned down a book deal in the US because they wanted to remove my use of ‘the f-bomb’,” she wrote on Saturday morning (February 19).

“I refused for two reasons: firstly, because I don’t use words by chance. They are counting. And two, because I don’t believe that my use of the word “f***” harms anyone. (In Harris’ tweet, the word is uncensored.)

The deal in question was for a mail-order book club edition of the psychological thriller A narrow doora novel that was first published last year.

“Anyway, I thought about it and the decision was mine. That’s how publishing works and I’m happy with my choice,” she continues.

“But if an editor had inadvertently pointed out an error in the text – or something in the tone that might be hurtful – I would have listened, and most likely changed. Defending the words I wanted to use does not mean refusing to change those that I haven’t used.

“I don’t feel offended by that at all. I made a choice, and so did they. I don’t feel like I was ‘cancelled,'” Harris added.

Harris’ comments come amid a wider debate over literary censorship in the United States.

Last month, a Tennessee school board came under fire for its unanimous decision to ban the acclaimed Holocaust-themed graphic novel. Maus of the language arts program, citing concerns about profanity and female nudity.


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