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Tipsheet

Woke Nonense 'Sensitivity Readers' Now Coming for One of Most Read Authors of All Time

If you thought that the woke censorship would stop at children's authors like Roald Dahl and R.L. Stine, think again. The latest HarperCollins editions of some works by Agatha Christie, who wrote 66 detective novels and 15 short stories before her death in 1976, will be edited by these so-called "sensitivity readers."

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As our friends at Twitchy have highlighted, there are certain buzz words revealed in media headlines. 

"Agatha Christie novels reworked to remove potentially offensive language," The Guardian put it, making mention of those "sensitivity readers" in the subheadline. Perhaps even more ridiculous is this headline from Deadline: "Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Miss Marple Classic Mysteries Rewritten For Modern Sensitivities." The Telegraph, mentioned in reporting from The Guardian, also had a similar headline, "Agatha Christie classics latest to be rewritten for modern sensitivities."

When it comes to the edits, some parts are being removed entirely. From The Guardian:

Several Agatha Christie novels have been edited to remove potentially offensive language, including insults and references to ethnicity.

...

The updates follow edits made to books by Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming to remove offensive references to gender and race in a bid to preserve their relevance to modern readers.

The newspaper reported that the edits cut references to ethnicity, such as describing a character as black, Jewish or Gypsy, or a female character’s torso as “of black marble” and a judge’s “Indian temper”, and removed terms such as “Oriental” and the N-word. The word “natives” has also been replaced with the word “local”.

Among the examples of changes cited by the Telegraph is the 1937 Poirot novel Death on the Nile, in which the character of Mrs Allerton complains that a group of children are pestering her, saying that “they come back and stare, and stare, and their eyes are simply disgusting, and so are their noses, and I don’t believe I really like children”.

This has been stripped down in a new edition to state: “They come back and stare, and stare. And I don’t believe I really like children.”

In the new edition of the 1964 Miss Marple novel A Caribbean Mystery, the amateur detective’s musing that a hotel worker smiling at her has “such lovely white teeth” has been removed, the newspaper added.

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That doesn't appear to be the pressing issue for the leftist outlet, though. Rather, it's all about fairness for these so-called sensitivity readers:

Sensitivity readers are a comparatively recent phenomenon in publishing that have gained widespread attention in the past two years. They vet both new publications and older works for potentially offensive language and descriptions, and aim to improve diversity in the publishing industry – though some are paid extremely low wages.

One might argue that these "sensitivity readers" are lucky to have a job at all when it comes to such a useless position.

It's worth noting that Christie's works have been edited before, without such woke nonsense. Arguably her most famous novel, "And Then There Were None," was not the original title of the book. One previous title was changed since it was genuinely offensive, as it contained a slur for black people. The Guardian notes that it was "last published under that name in 1977, and included this word repeatedly in the story."

It's not merely these "sensitivity readers" and the leftists who support them. As Twitchy also highlighted, author Joyce Carol Oates dismissed the idea of editing Christie's works, even claiming she's "not revered as a stylist."

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Oates' tweet was ratioed with over 400 replies. There were also 189 quoted retweets taking issue with such a bogus take. Oates doubled down on her position over Twitter throughout Monday, in addition to calling out Republican politicians for the shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Speaking of censorship, her most recent tweet on Tuesday afternoon censors former President Donald Trump's name.

Christie is one of the best-selling authors of all time, and is the best-selling fiction author of all time. She's also the most-translated author. "And Then There Were None," is one of the best-selling books of all time, having sold over 100 million copies. She's also a playwright, with "The Mousetrap," which opened in 1952, having the longest initial run.

If the issue at hand was that publishers felt the need to turn to such a stunt to drive sales, as has been suggested over Twitter, is thus all the more concerning in a way then.

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