'Color-of-the-Author' Suit Against Penguin Settled

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'Color-of-the-Author' Suit Against Penguin Settled

Tue May 20, 2008 @ 03:19PM PST

Posted by Matthew Heller

Millenia African-American author Nadine Aldred is back in the writing business after settling an unusual segregation-in-publishing suit against Penguin Group, the publisher of her first two novels.

Aldred, who writes romance novels under the name Millenia Black, alleged that Penguin marketed her debut work "The Great Pretender" as African-American fiction based solely on her race, costing her a mainstream audience. She sought no less than $250 million in damages.

But the parties filed dismissal papers last week and Aldred confirmed the settlement on her blog. "I'm very pleased to share that the matter has now been resolved to my satisfaction through an agreement, the terms of which can never be discussed," she said.

Discovery issues in the case had gotten testy, with Aldred battling Penguin over its request to copy the contents of her computer in search of deleted e-mails and other documents. On her blog, she describes the last three years of her life as "dreadful" -- she has not written another novel since "The Great Betrayal," published in 2006.

A "Jim Crowesque climate ... plagues American publishing," she says, but she still has

confidence that my stories will find their way into the American mainstream, where they belong. Like any other, they deserve to have a fair chance in the marketplace, don't they? Unfettered by any "color-of-the-author" impositions?

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