November 16, 2012

Apple censors a cover … one that looks like many others


Apple has removed Salwa Al Neimi’s novel The Proof of the Honey from its iBookstore, citing the inappropriateness of the book’s cover.

According to a post on publisher Europa Editions’ Facebook page,

“One would assume, then, they would also consider classical nudes by Ingres, Renoir, and Botticelli, not to mention photography by Man Ray inappropriate. What about New York Book Review editions of Dud Avocado, Tyrant Banderas, or our very own The Days of Abandonment? NOPE! All are available in the iTunes bookstore.”

The censorship is particularly appalling, according to a statement by the publisher, in that “The author is Syrian. Her book has been subject to censorship in her own country due to its content, not its cover.”

The timing of the takedown is also peculiar: the book has been in the iTunes store since May 2009 but was only removed last week.

The above image, which also comes via Europa, shows the book’s cover “alongside other books with similar covers that are still included in the iTunes bookstore.”



Kelly Burdick is the former executive editor of Melville House.