Whatever algorithm governs Facebook posts refuses to allow ones about the book Helen’s Story if they include the cover. Both the publisher, Aqueduct Press, and the author, Rosanne Rabinowitz, have put up posts that were taken down. I’ve tried to do it twice and had the posts removed. We’ve complained to Facebook, but had no response.
The book is a perfect match for Aqueduct’s Conversation Pieces series. It’s a response to The Great God Pan, a classic work by Arthur Machen. (You can find a free ebook of Machen’s book on Project Gutenberg.) It was first published in the UK by PS Publishing in 2013 and was nominated for Shirley Jackson award.
The cover is an original painting by Erika Steiskal, done originally for the PS edition. Which is to say that this is a serious work of literature that uses a work of art for its cover.
I’m not sure if it’s the visible breast or the pubic hair or both that caused Facebook to hiccup and remove the post. (Since the pubic hair is green and leafy, I contend that it’s the equivalent of a fig leaf, but you may look at it differently.)
I do know that when I shared Sara Stamey’s latest post on her Greek travels and deliberately used her photo of a ancient statue of a full frontal naked man, Facebook had no problem with it. Apparently ancient Greek statues with penises are OK, but modern paintings with breasts and pubic hair are not.
Interestingly enough, Twitter has no problem with this book cover.
Rabinowitz has addressed this problem by posting the following version of the cover. It appears to be acceptable to Facebook:
It’s an excellent book. I found it both delightful and disturbing, which is always a good mix. You can buy it directly from Aqueduct or from Amazon, though Amazon does not appear to have the ebook edition up even though it should be there.
If you feel inclined, try sharing this post on Facebook and see if it is still censoring this book cover.