Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sherry Jones on Jewel Of Medina

On her blog, author Sherry Jones reflects on the continuing failure of publishers to bring out her book, Jewel Of Medina, in Britain despite the fact that the men who conspired to set fire to the home office of Gibson Square publishers (who had been due to publish the book last year) have now been convicted.
Whether or not my book is respectful, however, has little to do with the real issue here. For, although the extremists lost in court, they have apparently won where it really counts — in the UK’s book stores.

After Gibson Square’s publisher announced, a couple of weeks after the arson attempt, that he was indefinitely postponing publication of “The Jewel of Medina” — following in the footsteps of Random House in the U.S. — I awarded world English publication rights to Beaufort Books, my U.S. publishing house whose publisher and small staff have supported my book unwaveringly, despite hate mail, lawsuit threats, and Mr. Choudary’s own assertion that not only I, but my publishers, might deserve to die.

Beaufort publisher Eric Kampmann and associate publisher Margot Atwell headed to the London Book Fair in April with a full display of “The Jewel of Medina” and confidence that they would find the right distributor to supply stores in the U.K. with the book. But — no. Everyone, it seems, is too afraid.
She calls for public support similar to that offered in Serbia where the book has now been published.
"Use it, or lose it,” the saying goes. Extremists are using — abusing, even — their right to free speech. Now it’s time for the rest of us, including moderate Muslims and the press, who cherish our culture and our freedom, to raise a cry louder than that of radicals, so we don’t lose that most precious, and crucial, of freedoms.

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