Blake Bailey: Biographer accused of rape gets book deal for memoir billed as ‘cancellation culture warning tale’

Biographer Blake Bailey, who faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, has now been signed to publish a memoir on so-called cancel culture by publishing house Skyhorse.

The allegations against Bailey surfaced last April, two weeks after her biography on Philip Roth was published. The allegations were made by former students who had been taught by Bailey when he was a middle school teacher in New Orleans in the 1990s.

Students have publicly stated that he engaged in inappropriate behavior while teaching and then pursued sexual relationships. Two former students and book publishing executive Valentina Rice alleged he assaulted them.

Bailey, who has also written acclaimed biographies of authors John Cheever and Richard Yates, has denied any wrongdoing. The American author claimed he had consensual sex with some former students, while his lawyer said the allegations were “false and unsubstantiated”.

His new memoirs Repulsive, was presented as a warning about “cancellation culture”.

According to the Skyhorse ad, Repulsive presents a “provocative account of the private Philip Roth and his biographer, as well as a lucid examination of the perils faced by any writer or artist – fallible human beings, after all – in the age of cancel culture”.

“In the age of cancel culture, get a behind-the-scenes look at the journey to critically acclaimed success Philip Roth: the biography and its subject and author ‘cancelled’,” he adds.

According to the publishing house, “worrying forces were at work” and “because of the revelations in Bailey’s biography, many were calling for Philip Roth and his work to be ‘cancelled’, while others seemed to think Bailey had been too sympathetic and even ‘conniving’ with his subject’s worst faults’.

Referring to reports of allegations of sexual harassment against the author, the editors said: “Rumors exploded on the internet about Bailey’s private life, and within days he himself was downright canceled.”

Publishing giant Simon & Schuster, which has struck a deal with Skyhorse to distribute its titles, said the memoir will be sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bam!, Bookshop and Indie Bound for $26.99 (22 ,£16).

Last year, Skyhorse Publishing published Philip Roth: the biography after its initial publisher WW Norton and Company withdrew it following the allegations against Bailey.

Skyhorse also published a memoir by Trump attorney Michael Cohen, as well as Woody Allen’s memoir. About nothing.

The latter book had been abandoned by Hachette Book Group after employees staged a walkout to protest its publication. Allen’s daughter, Dylan Farrow, alleged he sexually abused her when she was seven, an allegation Allen has always vehemently denied.

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