Monday’s Margins: Amazon Hates on the Gays; Towards a National Short Story Month; New Stories from Stephen Dixon, Chris Adrian, and Lydia Davis

People at Amazon.com must be wishing for a lot of things this morning, not least of which would be an established presence on Twitter, which was swamped over the weekend with discussion of Amazon de-listing the sales figures for books that in some way involve gay and lesbian issues. The online retail giant’s search engine is structured in such a way that such a policy ensures that you’re incredibly unlikely to find a book – even if searching for a specific title – if it involves what the policy refers to as “adult content.” The book reading public is outraged over being told what they can and can’t read; the gay and lesbian community are outraged over being discriminated against; and authors are outraged at being blacklisted when books like Ron Jeremy’s autobiography are still easily found and purchased. For more on this, see Ed Champion’s site, which includes telephone numbers for Amazon’s board of directors (and while you’re there, do me a solid and tell them that the Kindle sucks) and follow the discussion on Twitter at #amazonfail and #glitchmyass.

In a more positive development, some enterprising bookish folks are looking into how to make a National Short Story Month a reality. Join in the discussion at Readerville.

Finally, some good news: a new Stephen Dixon story, a new Chris Adrian story, and apparently this fall will see a Collected Stories of Lydia Davis being issued by FSG. Available soon for preorder, and if you’d like to get it somewhere other than Amazon, might I suggest looking into IndieBound and the always-reliable Powell’s.
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