Publisher stops promotion of Roth bio over author sexual allegations: report


W.W. Norton has stopped shipping and promoting a biography of Phillip Roth biography over sexual allegations made against its author Blake Bailey, The New York Times reported.

Philip Roth: The Biography had only recently been released and was on the Time’s bestseller list this week. The book had been reviewed in leading magazines and literary periodicals. 

But W.W. North told the Times in a statement that the allegations made against Bailery were “serious.”

“In light of them, we have decided to pause the shipping and promotion of ‘Philip Roth: The Biography’ pending any further information that may emerge,” it said.

The accusations of grooming, rape and sexual assault — dating back to when Bailey was a middle school teacher in the 1990s — first appeared in comments on a blog critiquing Bailey’s Roth book. They were then reported by that blog and also by The New Orleans Advocate.

Bailey denied the allegations as “categorically false and libelous” in an email to the Times and his attorney has told the Times that Bailey “disagrees with Norton’s decision to stop promoting his book.”

W.W. Norton and Bailey’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill. 

Some 50,000 copies of the book were initially printed, the Times reported. Norton has cancelled a second printing of 10,000 copies that were to be distributed next month. The publisher has also cancelled advertising and public relations activities scheduled to promote the book.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported, Bailey’s literary agency The Story Factory dropped him as a client. The Story Factory could not be reached for comment. 


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