FT: Is it true that your upcoming book, Does God Hate Women?, was turned down by the first publisher because in was too critical of Islam?
OB: Yes, a publisher did turn it down for that compelling reason. It wasn’t exactly the first publisher since it never actually accepted it, but it was very interested, got Jeremy [Stangroom, the co-author] in to have a chat etc (I live six thousand miles away or I would have gone along for the chat too, whether they’d invited me or not) – then said they’d decided no because one mustn’t criticize Islam.
FT: How did you feel about that at the time?
OB: A mix of amusement and disgust, I think – amusement at the docile predictability, disgust at the crawling. I also felt even more convinced that the book was needed, precisely because a publisher would turn it down for such a reason. What publisher, you wonder? Verso.
Verso, the great left wing publisher describe themselves as putting out “Books with a critical edge“. Except about religion, or a religion, of course.