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Authors Guild Statement on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Decision to Delay New Novel

The Authors Guild believes that books should never be censored or banned, but every author should have to right to decide when and how they want to publish their work. It’s a personal choice, and since words have power, Elizabeth Gilbert absolutely has the right to decide how and when her words should best be used. Some Americans believe it is a stretch to be so upset about a book set in Siberia a century ago seemingly detached from the current regime or crisis wrought by Putin, but Gilbert heard and empathized with the pain of her readers in Ukraine, and we respect her decision that she does not want to bring more harm to her Ukrainian readers.

To be clear, we would not, however, support the decision of a publisher to pressure a writer to not publish the book. Authors should never be required to withdraw books but must have the right to speak or not speak when they wish.