Classical Blackface

Diversity Is Strength

Publishers Weekly announces a new joint initiative between Penguin Random House and Barnes and Noble that's sure to shape the future of publishing.
A collection of classic books with new culturally diverse covers will make their debut at New York City’s largest bookstore.
To kick off Black History Month, Penguin Random House and Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue is partnering up to give twelve classic young adult novels new covers, known as “Diverse Editions.” The books will hit the shelves on Feb. 5, and Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue will have the books on display in their massive storefront throughout the month of February.
The following books will be on display with their Diverse Edition covers:
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Three Musketeers
  • Moby Dick
  • The Secret Garden
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Emma
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Peter Pan 
  • Treasure Island
  • Frankenstein
Each title had five culturally diverse custom covers designed to ensure the recognition, representation, and inclusion of various multiethnic backgrounds reflected across the country. The new covers are a part of a new initiative to champion diversity in literature.
Clearly, the business savvy experts at Penguin House and B&N are hoping to replicate Disney's success with diversifying that other literary classic A Wrinkle in Time.

Everybody knows what's really going on here. The Death Cultists who run oldpub are launching another orgy of iconoclasm against the false idols that might tempt true believers to seek truth and beauty instead of nihilism. A book's cover is 80% of buy decision. Plastering great works of Western civilization with blaxploitation movie covers is a great way to confuse people out of reading them.

No cult can exist without a satanic foil, and the Death Cult has fixated on the white devil. Unfortunately, the rank and file of the Cult didn't get the fatwa their high priests issued.


She's right. This editor would tweak it to "Classical Blackface" for the assonance.

Still White

If this debacle is any indication of future results, James Daunt's much-touted resuscitation of Barnes and Noble looks to be DOA. Giving each store in the chain the freedom to operate like an indie doesn't help if those stores are independently run by delirious witches.

Stock tip: Sell B&N and invest in popcorn futures.

And as always, don't give money to people who hate you. New book on that coming soon!

In the meantime, buy books whose covers accurately reflect the fun inside--like my mind-blowing Soul Cycle!

Nethereal - Brian Niemeier


  1. As a pusher of Old Pub lumber, B&N should be selling off their marketing staff as part of this brilliant promotion.

    Thar's a gold mine between them ears!

    1. You said it.

      I'd thought that Daunt might be able to turn the ship around, but this kind of convergence on his watch does not bode well.

    2. He was probably overruled. I want read Mike Shatzkin's perspective when the time comes.


  2. All they have to do is act normal. And they can't.

    I guess B&N's people belong to the Pop and Death cults, because Mammon this ain't.

  3. I didn't realize there were going to be 5 versions of eachh cover. This is... an embarrassing play for the collectors market, but an indian girl onthe cover for The Secret Garden should be worth having for the lulz...

    1. The black Dorothy is carrying ruby red sneakers.

      It's like a shitpost brought to life.

    2. Athletic and WhitesplosiveFebruary 5, 2020 at 9:41 PM

      Coming soon from Penguin, republished literary classics featuring the timeless illustrations of A. Wyatt Mann.

    3. But can A Wyatt Mann ever do anything right? I have it on good authority that everything he ever does is the worst thing ever.

  4. They were trying to decipher how they could spend even less on good covers and get free clout at the same time.

    OldPub is in serious trouble if this is the best they can do.

    1. The really sad part is that reissuing public domain titles under a new classics line is a great idea from a business standpoint. You have to go far out of your way to fuck that up.

      The fact that they did without blinking an eye shows just how alien the folks in charge of institutions are compared to normal people.

  5. Well at least various blogs are leading me to greener pastures where I may have more fun book buffets. Plus Ill always do my best to combat the top 100 stuff that doesn't fit the genre its selling in.

    At this point I think Books-a-Million might survive longer then B&N.

  6. Brian

    Update Barnes and Nobel is backpedaling faster than a Peleton workout


  7. When are these corporations going to finally just come out and say, "We really hate white people. Seriously, we want all of you to die . . . painfully . . . while we munch popcorn watching"?

    1. Some of their mouthpieces already have been for a while. Then when you call them out on it, they call you a conspiracy theorist.

      It's all part of the demoralization campaign.

  8. Was thinking of Dumas the other day and I realized they didn't even need to do this Dumas and Pushkin are black at least as black as Meagan Markle.