'Potentially Offensive' Language Yanked From Agatha Christie Novels

Sensitivity readers gave the works a once-over
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2023 2:29 AM CDT
Updated Mar 27, 2023 4:03 AM CDT
'Potentially Offensive' Language to Be Removed From Agatha Christie Novels
FILE - This 1963 file photo shows mystery author Agatha Christie at age 73, in London.   (AP Photo, File)

Agatha Christie's novels are the latest to be reworked by sensitivity readers, following similar moves for books by Ian Fleming and Roald Dahl. HarperCollins will publish new editions of some of the mystery novelist's Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple books with passages either removed or revised at the readers' suggestion, the Telegraph reports. The Guardian reports many of the changes involve situations when the main characters come into contact with people outside the UK. Some references to ethnicity, including descriptors like one character's "Indian temper" or another character's torso being compared to "black marble," have been removed. Terms including "Gypsy," "Oriental," "Nubian," "natives," and the N-word have also been removed.

Other edits are more subtle; in one scene, for example, a character describes a group of children bothering her by noting that "their eyes are simply disgusting, and so are their noses"; that line has been cut. Deadline reports the backlash for the similar changes made to Dahl's books was so fierce that the publisher eventually decided to publish two versions, and the Christie move seems likely to prove similarly unpopular in certain circles. "Even the bestselling novelist in the world isn’t being spared woke rewrite treatments to spare the delicate sensitivities of modern readers, with Agatha Christie’s works getting the full treatment from her publisher," Breitbart News tweeted. (More Agatha Christie stories.)

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