Backlash after divisive comments from Victorian bookshop owner

The owner of a Victorian independent chain of bookstores, under fire for her tweets, apologises after community furore.
Bookshop. image is a row of books resting on their spines

As reported in The Age today (29 January), Victorian independent bookshop owner Susanne Horman, owner of Robinsons Bookshop, which has seven stores across Melbourne, duly deleted her X account, after her series of tweets were screen posted on Instagram through the account @coffeebooksandmagic and received consternation and backlash from the book community.  

The tweets from early December 2023, said, ‘What’s missing from our bookshelves in store? Positive male lead characters of any age, any traditional white family stories, kids’ picture books with just white kids on the cover, and no wheelchair, rainbow or indigenous art, non indig aus history.’

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Thuy On is Reviews Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her first book, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was published by University of Western Australia Press (UWAP). Her next collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Twitter: @thuy_on