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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

San Francisco Author Stephen Elliott Offers Hearty Middle Finger to Amazon for 'De-listing' His Book

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 12:01 AM

click to enlarge Eighty years old and too hot for
  • Eighty years old and too hot for
In perhaps the most misbegotten foray of censorship since Thomas Bowdler decided to snip the racy bits out of Shakespeare (immortalizing himself as an adjective meaning "prudishly edited": bowdlerized), Amazon recently jiggered the sales rankings of its books in such a manner that tomes supposedly dealing with sex are damn near impossible to stumble across in a general search.

Here's a funny detail: Books about gay subjects seem to be disproportionately targeted. This couldn't be one of those "Save the Children, Save the Children!" moments, could it?

San Francisco author Stephen Elliott -- whose own book, My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up has been "de-listed" -- is not amused. He notes in a recent article in the online magazine The Rumpus, that the No. 1 search item for "homosexuality" on Amazon is now A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality. Other books, in addition to his own, that have been knocked out of the search menu include Lady Chatterly's Lover -- D.H. Lawrence's vivid description of Oliver Mellors' engorged member was scandalous (in 1929) -- and For Yourself: The Fulfillment Of Female Sexuality. Books that have not been de-listed, meanwhile, include Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds and Young People Fucking.

Elliott concluded his article by using derogatory language toward Amazon that would probably get his article de-listed.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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