While we do not, under any circumstances, have to hand it to Skyhorse, publisher of Sandy Hook deniers, anti-vaxxers, January 6th conspiracy theorists, and Woody Allen—their brand is extremely consistent. To wit: they will be publishing another book by disgraced biographer Blake Bailey (they picked up Bailey’s Roth biography after W. W. Norton dropped it in the wake of extensive reports that Bailey had groomed and pursued sexual relationships with his former students, and sexually assaulted publishing executive Valentina Rice).
if Blake Bailey can get a new book deal with S&S to write this gross "memoir," I'm sorry, there is no such thing as cancel culture. pic.twitter.com/HXI7U9dVUa
— Jacqui Shine is 80087355 (@DearSplenda) July 26, 2022
The book, Repellent, is set to be a thorough accounting of Bailey’s behavior in which he takes complete accountability for the… no no, just kidding—it is, of course, a memoir about cancel culture.
According to Skyhorse’s publicity copy, it was not the many accusations of sexual assault, but rather “ominous forces” that led to Bailey’s downfall:
Because of revelations in Bailey’s biography, many were calling for Philip Roth and his work to be “canceled,” while others seemed to think Bailey had been overly sympathetic and even “complicitous” with his subject’s worst failings. Soon rumors exploded on the internet about Bailey’s own private life, and within days he himself was roundly canceled.
Again, people’s opinions about Philip Roth had nothing to do with Norton pulling the book, but… go off, Skyhorse publicity team. Speaking of which, who is even working at Skyhorse? (A few suggestions from the Lit Hub staff: seven Babadooks and Kid Rock, three tiny and ill-tempered horses in a trench coat, and Vincent Adultman but evil.)
Here’s the book’s cover. (At least I think it’s the cover. It might just be the distillation of Pamela Paul’s last three columns.)
As ever, a special shoutout to Skyhorse’s distributor, Simon & Schuster!