Where Is Anti-Woke Literature?

Where Is Anti-Woke Literature? By Bruce Newsome.

If publishers were fair about underrepresented voices, and underrepresented consumers, they would be publishing anti-woke authors. …

Contemporary fiction is dominated by left-wing themes. Novelists who call out this bias only hurt themselves, such as the Australian Michael MacConnell. (That was in 2009. He hasn’t published a novel since.) I was told of a few successful novelists who are relatively conservative but remain closeted. …

Males are already underrepresented in the publishing industry (as they are in teaching). Recently, a novelist revealed that in the 2000s he “was explicitly advised . . . to give up any ideas of publishing literary fiction,” given female dominance on both the demand and supply sides. …

No male under 40 years old has been nominated for the Booker Prize for fiction in a decade. The shortlist for the 2020 Booker Prize was published in mid-September, with three women “of colour,” a man of color, a white woman, and a white man (but he’s gay, Scottish, and wrote about a single mother battling with alcoholism, and a son grappling with his sexuality, in Glasgow, in the 1980s, all of which are blamed on “Thatcher’s policies”). …

The deputy literary editor for the Times of London, James Marriott, welcomed the incline in female nominees on the Booker longlist, but he also noted that young men would struggle to get a break today. One agent told him: “it’s really, really hard,” given that “the culture doesn’t really want to hear from them.” Appropriately, the agent blamed a culture, not the market. Indeed, a minority culture attempted to cancel Marriott on Twitter. He suspended his account (temporarily).

Despite female dominance of the Booker Prize, women have their own annual prize for women’s fiction, now in its 25th year. Where is the annual prize for men’s fiction? That would be sexist, they say, with no realization of hypocrisy. …

Publishing is special, because it can get by appealing only to the woke?

The adage “go woke, go broke” has been proven in other industries. Why not publishing?

Industry insiders respond that they serve the minority that consumes most of the books. There’s some truth to this, but also complacency. True, the big publishers have the power to create demand for a tiny proportion of authors. Yet at some point, consumers lose faith in the marketing. Those in the publishing world talk up the industry out of self-interest. But most of the time the insiders are talking to each other.

Nope, woke is a slow road to ruin, even in publishing:

The market is bigger than the literary class. Britain publishes more books per capita than any other country, partly because it serves an enormous Anglophone market outside of Britain. Most sales are of nonfiction, whose subjects are less woke.

What’s more, the big publishers have been losing market share to self-publishers, which account for about one-third of sales (and a higher proportion of ebook sales). Their growing share proves plebian demand. Self-publishing implies rejection by the elite, however, and is stigmatized as such. Most publishers, agents, and critics refuse to consider authors who self-publish. This is partly self-protection. Hypocritically, they will chase authors who make it big as self-publishers. …

Opportunity knocks for a brave entrepreneur:

While anti-woke nonfiction has a few publishers, anti-woke fiction has none. This is not for want of a market. …

The publishing industry is identarian and unmeritorious. If publishers were fair about underrepresented voices, and underrepresented consumers, they would be publishing anti-woke authors.

Because of media dominance by the left, it is too easy for professional people to live in a woke world where the non-woke truths never penetrate. Watch the mainstream media, visit only websites approved by Google, read the main left wing newspaper, read only trendy books, visit inner city coffee shops and art museums etc., and only talk to people like themselves. Friendships between PC and non-PC people are becoming rare nowadays, because the PC types are so censorious and intolerant that normal people cannot stand them for long. Like two ships in the night.