PEN America Responds to Publisher’s Decision to Pause Philip Roth Biography
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(New York, NY) — This week, publisher W. W. Norton said it would pause shipments and promotion of Blake Bailey’s anticipated book Philip Roth: The Biography after serious and credible allegations of sexual assault emerged against the author. PEN America released the following statement:
“The allegations against author Blake Bailey are profoundly disturbing, and we recognize that credible news outlets have brought forward what seems to be compelling corroborating evidence. Further, reports that Bailey’s publisher was alerted to an alleged serious crime, and its handling of the information it received, give rise to serious and alarming questions.
“It is within a publisher’s discretion to decide how, when, and to what degree to promote and distribute a book once published. Still, in pausing to assess the allegations and determine next steps, W. W. Norton should ensure that Bailey’s latest book, Philip Roth: The Biography, does not vanish. Our concern as an organization that advances free speech and literature is that the broadest array of books be available. We hope that as W. W. Norton evaluates how to proceed that it will recognize the imperative of ensuring that books, research, and ideas remain accessible to readers who seek them.”