5 Books That Were Canceled, Postponed, Or Pulled From Shelves


The news is coming fast and furious, especially when its concerns the dealings of former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos. The human controversy machine resigned from his post as Breitbart news editor, a move that came on the heels of the The Reagan Battalion publishing a video where Yiannopoulos makes light of pedophilia. That video prompted Simon & Schuster, the publisher that was scheduled to publish Yiannopoulos' book Dangerous in March, to drop their client and fast.

In the weeks leading up to The Reagan Battalion leak, the literary world was making its distaste for Yiannopoulos public. Roxane Gay, who yanked her book How To Be Heard from Simon & Schuster following the initial news of Yiannopoulos' book deal, commented on the most recent update on her Tumblr:

Believe it or not, there's a tumultuous history of canceled, pulled, or destroyed books. They tell many a cautionary tale.

1'If I Did It' by O.J. Simpson

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In 2006 Simpson's same-named book and TV special were canceled by News Corp. Their publishing imprint, HarperCollins, and their television network, Fox, were slated to bring Simpson's memoir and documentary, which most considered tantamount to a confession, to life. In the end, ReganBooks published the memoir.

2'How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life' by Kaavya Viswanathan


This YA novel, written by a Harvard student who received a $500,000 book deal, was pulled (all copies were destroyed) after its publication, when it was revealed that Viswanathan had plagiarized the work of Megan McCafferty. In an article in Slate, Ann Hulbert wrote:

3'The Murder of Stephen King' by James Patterson

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James Patterson announced the publication of this novel — and then canceled it two weeks later. In a statement from his publisher, the author said:

4'The Continent' by Keira Drake

HarlequinTeen postponed the publication date for The Continent after an online discussion about racist stereotypes in the work. The work does not yet have a new release date.

5'What the (Bleep) Just Happened?' by Monica Crowley

Just last month, HarperCollins pulled this title after a CNN report revealed that more than 50 passages had been plagiarized.