Amazon.com has branded James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar, Jeanette Winterson‘s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and thousands of other books with gay characters as ‘adult’ – and not in the sense that Virginia Woolf had in mind when she said Middlemarch was ‘one of the few English novels written for grown-up people’.
One consequence of this is that they don’t get to have a ‘sales rank’, so they can’t appear near the top of bestseller lists, so people are less likely to see them and buy them. An Amazon spokesman said yesterday that there was a glitch, which they’re fixing. (Giovanni’s Room still doesn’t have a sales rank 24 hours later.) I wonder if the same ‘glitch’ is the reason why if you search for ‘homosexuality‘ on the site the top five results include A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, Can Homosexuality Be Healed? andYou Don’t Have to Be Gay.