Story at a glance

  • Multiple women have accused Blake Bailey, who authored a biography of author Philip Roth, of sexual assault and grooming.
  • Publishing house WW Norton dropped the biography, but it has been picked up by Skyhorse Publishing.
  • This isn't the first time the controversial publisher has picked up a book dropped by other publishing houses.

Skyhorse Publishing, known for supporting authors Woody Allen, Alan Dershowitz, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone, picked up a biography of Philip Roth by an author who stands accused of sexual assault and grooming of minors. 

"The fact is that fewer and fewer publishers are willing to take on the tough books," Tony Lyons, president of the company, told Vanity Fair in an article published last year that detailed a history of workplace toxicity and accusations of inappropriate behavior within the company. 

In the case of author Blake Bailey, it isn't the content of the book that prompted publishing house WW Norton to drop the title after releasing it in the U.S. this April. The bestseller remains available in the U.K. through Vintage, part of Penguin Random House, according to The Guardian.

In a memo to staff obtained by The New York Times, which reported on the allegations, the company said it would donate the amount of Bailey’s book advance to "organisations that fight against sexual assault or harassment and work to protect survivors" and that Bailey was free to seek publication elsewhere. 


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The allegations by several victims, who spoke to The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate and Los Angeles Times in addition to The New York Times, include grooming former students at a New Orleans middle school, as well as rape. 

“I have categorically denied these libelous allegations, and my denial stands," said Bailey, whose email correspondences with several women were made public, to The New Yorker and other outlets. 

Skyhorse Publishing is reportedly releasing Bailey's book again in June along with an e-book and audiobook this week. 


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Published on May 18, 2021