Sunday, April 12, 2009

L.A. Times on Amazon Outrage

The LA Times reports on Amazon's dropping rankings of LGBT books:

Our research shows that these books have lost their ranking: "Running with Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs; "Rubyfruit Jungle" by Rita Mae Brown, "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" by Alison Bechdel, "The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1" by Michel Foucault, "Bastard Out of Carolina" by Dorothy Allison (2005 Plume edition), "Little Birds: Erotica" by Anais Nin, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" by Jean-Dominque Bauby (1997 Knopf edition), "Maurice" by E.M. Forster (2005 W.W. Norton edition) and "Becoming a Man" by Paul Monette, which won the 1992 National Book Award.

Books that remain ranked include: "Naked" by David Sedaris; "Tropic of Cancer" by Henry Miller; "American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis; "Wifey" by Judy Blume; "The Kiss" by Kathryn Harrison; the photobooks "Playboy: Helmut Newton" and "Playboy: Six Decades of Centerfolds"; "Naked Lunch" by William Burroughs; "Incest: From 'A Journal of Love'" by Anais Nin; "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" by Jean-Dominque Bauby (2007 Vintage International edition), "Maurice" by E.M. Forster (2005 Penguin Classics edition).

All of my books have lost ranking as well.

Apparently they were flagging "erotica." But my books and most of the others are not erotic by any stretch. In my case it is a clear suppression of political speech. It's that simple.

UPDATE: Want to make sure to point out that author Craig Seymour had been writing about this from as far back as February, and it was author Mark Probst who sounded the alarm over the weekend on his blog. It was author Alexander Chee who posted Mark's post on my Facebook page, and then I just started tweeting about it on Twitter. There's now a petition and facebook page, and you can sign the petition here.