San Francisco Author Stephen Elliott Offers Hearty Middle Finger to Amazon for 'De-listing' His Book

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Eighty years old and too hot for Amazon.com?
In perhaps the most misbegotten foray of censorship since Thomas Bowdler decided to snip the racy bits out of Shakespeare (immortalizing himself as an adjective meaning "prudishly edited": bowdlerized), Amazon recently jiggered the sales rankings of its books in such a manner that tomes supposedly dealing with sex are damn near impossible to stumble across in a general search.

Here's a funny detail: Books about gay subjects seem to be disproportionately targeted. This couldn't be one of those "Save the Children, Save the Children!" moments, could it?

San Francisco author Stephen Elliott -- whose own book, My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up has been "de-listed" -- is not amused. He notes in a recent article in the online magazine The Rumpus, that the No. 1 search item for "homosexuality" on Amazon is now A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality. Other books, in addition to his own, that have been knocked out of the search menu include Lady Chatterly's Lover -- D.H. Lawrence's vivid description of Oliver Mellors' engorged member was scandalous (in 1929) -- and For Yourself: The Fulfillment Of Female Sexuality. Books that have not been de-listed, meanwhile, include Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds and Young People Fucking.

Elliott concluded his article by using derogatory language toward Amazon that would probably get his article de-listed.

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