And here is a copy of my letter of thanks:
I would just like to offer a heartfelt thank you for your letter to PayPal and Ebay on behalf of authors like myself. My book, Gaijin, has been caught in the crush. It is a novel about the fetisization of foreign cultures and it uses rape primarily as a metaphor.
I know it must seem extremely hard to stand up for books containing the ‘taboo’ subjects that PayPal lists as content it refuses to process, but as you so rightly point out, there are many, many classics that contain these topics – some of them indeed eroticize them. Equus, by Peter Shaffer (bestiality). The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass (under age sex). I,Claudius by Robert Graves (incest). A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (rape).
And, if I may be so bold as to mention it, The New Testament opens with the impregnation of a 13 year old girl by a god.
I do not necessarily defend the literary merit of many of the books that might come under the PayPal ban, but this is not the issue. Fictional representations of illegal behaviour are not illegal. And readers, more than writers, are being affected by this. Their ability to choose what to read should not be dictated by a financial transaction company’s arbitrary decisions on what is ‘acceptable’.
I realize this is not a legal issue. PayPal can and does have the right to decide which sales it won’t process. But I am grateful for your efforts on my behalf and on the behalf of many readers and writers out there.