Annabel Lyon's novel of Alexander the Great's childhood banned from BC Ferries bookshops in Canada on grounds that jacket features a naked man on horseback
IBNA: According to guardian, Alexander the Great's bare bottom is keeping a highly-praised debut novel off shelves in Canada.
Annabel Lyon's The Golden Mean is the story of Alexander's childhood, told through the eyes of his tutor Aristotle. Praised as "a triumph of erudition and story-telling" by The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas author John Boyne and shortlisted for Canada's top literary award, the Giller prize, it was published last year in Canada and is just out in the UK where the Financial Times has admired its "eerie earthiness".
But apparently its jacket – featuring a naked man lying on the back of an equally naked white horse – is offensive to some. Although stores across Canada and the UK are selling the book, Lyons revealed on her blog that British Columbia ferry company BC Ferries is not stocking it "since the trade paperback still features a bare bum on the cover".
BC Ferries said it had told the book's publisher, Random House Canada, that it would carry the book if it featured a "belly band" wrapped around the offending parts "because we're obviously a 'family show' and we've got children in our gift shops". But Random House refused, and the transportation company decided against stocking the title.
"While some people might think it's art or appropriate or whatever, parents of young people might not think it's appropriate for young children to view," BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall told Canadian paper the Province.
Lyon, the author of two previous short story collections, has refused to take the decision to heart. "Oh, BC Ferries. You have one too, you know you do!" she wrote on her blog.