The author of a short story which was censored for its profanity wants her story pulled from The Walrus.
Eden Robinson’s story, Nanas I Have Loved, had the majority of the swearing removed in editing. It is set for publication in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
Denise Bukowski, Robinson’s agent, wrote in an email Sunday, “I am writing to inform you that Eden Robinson does not wish to publish her story in your magazine. Please remove it immediately. Since you have not yet sent her a copy-edited draft, or paid her, there is plenty of time to do so.”
Bukowski’s email was sent to The Walrus publisher Shelley Ambrose and two other staffers at the magazine. It and Ambrose’s reply were copied to CANADALAND.
“Your staff member’s anonymous comments to Canadaland make Walrus a magazine she does not wish to support,” Bukowski said.
CANADALAND previously reported much of the swearing in Nanas had been removed at the request of senior editors, after the magazine received complaints about a now-infamous owl-fucking story. Fiction editor Nick Mount said he quit the magazine over the edits to the story.
“Eden graciously undertook two rounds of ‘editing’ to meet your vague standards of what constituted offensive language. Then your fiction editor was asked for a third round, so he quit,” Bukowski said. “In response, your editors publicly denied that any censorship occurred. Then they claimed to be merely editing ‘juvenile’ writing — writing that had been selected and edited by your fiction editor, from a beloved, award-winning writer whose most famous book, MONKEY BEACH, is in its 25th printing in paperback and is used in school and universities across the country.”
Walrus publisher Shelley Ambrose replied saying she would look into the situation.
“As far as I can tell, no one from The Walrus is quoted in that story and it certainly does not reflect our stance on fiction or anything else,” Ambrose said in a reply. “Not remotely.”
A source at The Walrus previously spoke to CANADALAND anonymously, on the condition they not be quoted directly. Their comments were paraphrased for publication, but the word “juvenile” was used to describe the amount of profanity in the first draft.