Edition: 2022
Pages: 208
Series: IR/L
ISBN: 9788858146989

Unfair. Cancel Culture in American Literature

Costanza Rizzacasa d'Orsogna


Alianza (World Spanish)



Should we stop reading The Odyssey because Penelope, who waits twenty years for Odysseus to return, is not a feminist character? And then again, can we ask rights to wait in the name of a supposed sanctity of literature? What is happening and how did we get here? A book takes us to the heart of the cancel culture debate that is raging in not just American but now European society as well.

How can we concile the necessary respect for diversity with the need to preserve literary masterpieces? Today, words like cancel culture, cultural appropriation, white supremacy, hate speech, toxic masculinity, inclusion, whitewashing, microaggressions, woke and trigger warnings populate everyday conversations and social media. In the background, there is a polarisation of American politics and thought that experts believe has reached a point of no return, and what Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt define as "The Coddling of the American Mind": emotional security as a sacred value. Censorship, in recent years, from which female, black and LGBT+ authors are not immune, and which sometimes ends up discriminating against the very categories it aims to defend. And if remakes and rebooks with all-black casts are multiplying from theatre to cinema, they are often only 'recolourations', which do not tell the Afro-American experience at all. From Philip Roth and his biographer Blake Bailey to Mark Twain and Toni Morrison, via Walt Disney and, analyses, through research and interviews, the earthquake of cancel culture in the American culture and academy.

The author

Costanza Rizzacasa d'Orsogna

Costanza Rizzacasa d'Orsogna is a journalist of ‘Il Corriere delle Sera’. She has a degree in creative writing from Columbia University in New York where she lived for twelve years, working as a journalist for various newspapers. Her books Storia di Milo, il gatto che non sapeva saltare (Guanda 2018) and Storia di Milo, il gatto che andava al Polo Sud (Guanda 2021) have been widely translated in various countries.

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