Tricky questions about race and gender have emerged as a dividing line in British publishing, just as they have in other areas of civil society like politics, academia and the media. Yet there seems to be an omertà hanging over people in publishing when it comes to discussing it with people outside the industry. Most of the people I contacted for this article either politely declined, ignored my request, or said they would speak to me on the condition that much of what they had to say was unattributable.
Nobody wants to rock the boat. Everyone seems to know everyone in publishing, and speaking publicly about such a controversial topic can feel like airing the industry’s dirty laundry.
Debates about identity politics within publishing reflect what is being played out in society at large. Conversations about race and diversity have taken a…
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