Hi, hope everyone is reading really good books this month. As for me, I’m reading a book by an author who is being severely criticized on the internet. It’s the first time I’ve read any of his books and I didn’t really know anything about him or his previous work when I started reading. I’m deep into the book, so I’m only skimming reviews and criticism because I don’t want it to influence how I experience the story. However, my basic understanding is this author is a credible writer, but has a terrible habit of making an ass of himself in the media. From the scathing, venomous accusations flying across my Twitter feed, it sounds as if he is the walking/talking epitome of white male, upper class privilege and ignorance, and people would like to discredit him for this reason.
Here are my questions:
Even if they are an award-winning and critically acclaimed author, would knowing an author is unpopular dissuade you from reading any of their books?
Have you ever chosen not to read a book because of an author’s opinions on a particular topic?
Should a book lose its literary merit if people don’t like the author or should the book be judged separately?
Should I continue separating the book from the ruckus on the internet or for context should I know what all the fuss is about this author?
A wise blogger I know once said: Reading books from authors whose views we disagree with is vital. Even if this doesn’t entirely convince us, it fosters complex thinking.
I agree and plan to keep reading, but continue to focus on the book and not the author. As far as I can tell, history is full of authors who behaved badly and did stupid things, but readers still manage find something worthy about their writing.