Industry NewsOpinion

Literary Orgs Silent on Classic Book Censorship

Writers groups stand down as beloved texts get 'updated' by sensitivity readers

Sensitivity readers, once a secret sect of the new woke order, came out of the shadows this year.

We learned in recent weeks that they’ve been changing the prose of iconic authors like Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming and, most recently, Agatha Christie.

Passages that have delighted readers for decades now read differently to protect minds from triggering, troublesome “thoughts.”

Lionel Shriver | On sensitivity readers

The authors in question have long since passed, and their respective estates either agreed to the changes or feared blowback from the “safe space” generation. Major publishing houses like HarperCollins appear on board with the updates, too.

“Goosebumps” creator R.L. Stine, who is very much alive, kicked back after hearing his works had undergone a similar treatment.

Most artists (actors, writers, musicians) haven’t raised an objection to sensitivity readers and their Orwellian handiwork.

Hollywood activists, so vocal on so many issues, effectively stood down on the matter. Powerful scribes like Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates have either publicly pretended the subject doesn’t exist or suggested it only matters if consequential authors find their work disfigured.

There are some notable exceptions.


Salman Rushdie, who has lived for decades under a “fatwa” and was nearly killed last year by someone who disagreed with his work, slammed the changes. He called it “absurd censorship.”

PEN America, a left-leaning group dedicated to free expression, spoke out following news of Dahl’s literary dissection but hasn’t said much of late on the newer incidents.

The most surprising blowback came from former New York Times Book Editor Pamela Paul. She penned a blistering column attacking the new woke rules which inhibit writers from telling their stories, their way.

What about the literary community in general? Dozens of organizations exist nationwide which nurture emerging artists, offer resources to writers and otherwise fight for our right to create.

HiT reached out to seven organizations to get their take on the subject. The query offered the chance to either submit a reaction/comment or briefly discuss the topic in a phone Q&A.

None responded to this site’s request. The groups in question are:

  • The National Book Foundation
  • Festival of Books in the Alleghenies
  • PEN/Faulkner
  • San Diego Writers, Ink
  • Community of Literary Magazines and Press
  • The Center for Fiction
  • Association of Writers and Writing Programs

It’s not surprising.

Standing up to the woke mob takes courage. Careers can be damaged, reputations smirched and the social media backlash is often extreme. Time and time again a famous person has bowed to the woke mob rather than stand by their opinions.

Think Stephen King, Guy Pearce, Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry, Chuck Lorre and more.

Literary groups would be in a more comfortable situation if they cheered on the sensitivity readers, proclaiming the need to protect minds from words. Their silence suggests that isn’t the case, either.

They’d earn plenty of social media adoration for cheering on the sensitivity readers and, possibly, some positive press along the way.

Their silence speaks for them, and it’s an almost deafening, fearful cry.

Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash


  1. Easy. If somebody tries to edit somebody else’s work, edit it back. Become teachers and administrators and teach and uphold the principle of freedom of expression, and that there is simply no logical or ethical obligation to avoid triggering or offending others in an open society. Quite the opposite. Saying there should be safe spaces is like saying there should be diabetic spaces for people to eat lots of sugar. If something is bad for you, I don’t have to support you. What’s the problem here? Afraid of being insulted on social media? The real issue is that “trigger words” are a common symptom of mild psychosis, which is caused primarily by cannabis use before the age of 25, of which our country is saturated. Cannabis has becone a rite of passage for vulnerable developing brains in every high school and college in America. Therefore, we now have millions of victims of organized brain damage for profit, taking to social media expressing their irrational and overblown reactions to others’ use of mere words, disconnected from any reasonable cause of harm. Americans are typically unbelievably ignorant about brain disease, with most having no idea how common and well understood psychosis is, and its causes. It’s the new lung cancer caused by smoking tobacco, except far worse. In brief, psychosis takes the form of feeling physical pain or personal outrage in reaction to words that have double meaning to the victim. They start living in a world of paranoid puns, from which there is no escape except months of consistent antipsychotic use, which cannot even be mandated under American law. And all the state hospitals have been shut down, so social media gives a spontaneously algorithm-organized outlet to predictable insane ideas and behaviors. Another common symptom of psychosis is gender dysphoria. Another is a predilection to mass violence against society. Now can you see the big picture of why everything is slowly going to hell? You Americans are so easy to con into hurting yourselves and your kids, it’s amazing you’ve survived this long, being as superstitious as you are. We are brains, and brains are fragile. You probably won’t survive after this latest generation of mass brain damage for profit. That’s because the damage runs deep into the DNA, and can be passed on to kids for up to four generations later. This is all well-documented medical information from the UN. Why do you think drug dealers are instantly executed or at least imprisoned forever in China and Russia, and why they hate the west so much? Or why cannabis use disqualifies one from military service in a number of countries outside of the American sphere of abuse? And what about the Pentagon report showing that rampant cannabis use caused long term poor cognition, instability, and violence among Vietnam vets? Ignored to the point of coverup, even beyond to the point of encouraging more recent vets to indulge in order to “treat” PTSD, knowing they’ll be playing Russian roulette, knowing that in a large minority it will have the exact opposite effect. This is the weaponization of the vulnerable. Problem is, under capitalism, the people have no protection from profitable lies, just as under socialism you have no protection from party lies. I’m sorry, but your best and only hope is to pray for a cure and try to make that happen with votes and your education. The victims and their children aren’t getting any better, so expect wokeism to keep evolving into more destructive forms of — literal — insanity, until mobs disrupt everything down to the last vestige of positive life.

  2. Who are some living authors who have been preasured or flat out attacked. It may be time to pressure them to stand up, I mean attacks seen to work. “You can get more with a kind word and a gun, than you can with just a kind word.”
    – al capone

  3. Hmmm… if the words are left alone someone will try to ban the book outright. If the words are changed its caving to pressure. Perhaps everyone should go to their quiet corner and just read what they enjoy and leave everything else alone. The wingnuts from both sides can go outside and tussle in the mud all they want.

  4. Yeah! Censorship bad! But let’s make sure we ban books about gender, sex, non-white people and and art!

  5. The Woke Mob has no real power, but the powerful convey their power to them. That’s why they capitulate only to them. When Republicans and Parents don’t want kids to be sexualized and mutilated by the Woke Mob, it’s called book banning or censorship when there’s no such thing. They can get their filth elsewhere, just not at school and libraries.

  6. Considering how vicious the left is. Not just on twitter but in real life. How many people have been threatened and attacked when fighting against them? It’s just going to get worse. A writer or two gets upset but all the organizations are silent. Publishers will take that as permission to change everything. Hoard your physical copies. At least until the firemen come to burn them.

      1. I’d love to have hope, but I’ve seen nothing but constant losing to the woke year after year. When you have the govt, corporations, big tech, corp run media all bending the knee to them, it’s hard to have hope. Now books aren’t even safe. How do you fight such an organized evil?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button