First question was
What made you want to write a book about censorship?
Now what do you suppose he said.
Firstly, it was watching a Russian oligarch with a criminal record using the libel law in Britain to silence all newspapers that wrote articles about him. Secondly, a great feminist writer, Ophelia Benson, co-wrote a book called “Does God Hate Women?” which was denounced overwhelmingly by the liberal press in Britain, including the paper I write for, the Observer. So once you start with an idea, the logic of the book then takes over.
That’s not bad. Almost worth having one’s book overwhelmingly denounced by the liberal press.
It was you know. I went over it all at the time, naturally, but not everyone who is reading now was reading then, so just by way of a reminder or a quick background – that’s exactly what happened. The Independent denounced it, the Observer denounced it, the Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ denounced it. BBC 3’s Night Waves invited not one but two defenders of religion to tell me how wrong we were and how feminist Islam and Catholicism are. One of the best and least mendacious reviews the book got was in – wait for it – the Church Times. Seriously.