Despite grappling with hundreds of phone calls and emails, an ongoing Twitter debate, lots of negative news coverage, protests from teachers and writers and readers and jokes on Jay Leno and The Colbert Report, NewSouth Books is forging ahead with plans to print Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn without the "n" word. The idea being that the word keeps the book out of schools because it's "hurtful", so why not substitute "slave" and print a version that can be taught in school?
In fact, all the controversy this week has stirred up more interest in the book. Publisher's Weekly reports that publisher Suzanne La Rosa says the negative attention has resulted in a jump in the press run from 7,000 to 10,000 copies. "I have not been off the phone all day, it’s just been insane,” she told PW. “I hope this is good for Twain, and it probably isn’t bad for NewSouth.”
No, but it's probably a bad precedent, and a bad choice. Huckleberry Finn is a work of art, isn't it? Since when do we alter those to give less offense?