Following international controversy over French Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand (pictured, via) and his memoir, Soft Skull Press released a statement defending their upcoming translation of the book.
The memoir contains frank material about Mitterrand’s experiences with male prostitutes in Thailand. “The Bad Life” was a bestseller in France in 2005, but new calls for his resignation were heard last week–despite the fact that two-thirds of the country doesn’t want him to resign.
Here’s more from the Soft Skull statement: “The controversial passages have been known to us all along and, among other things, it was the frankness and thoughtfulness with which Mr. Mitterand discussed his life that drew us to the project. Whether you agree with Mr. Mitterrand’s story or habits, he approaches them with a compelling and thought-provoking honesty and we continue to stand behind this elegant and brave book in the same way we have since undertaking to publish it here. As a publisher, Soft Skull has always embraced controversial conversations. That which makes us uncomfortable certainly warrants further rather than less scrutiny.”