Scots author Jenny Colgan quits Twitter after Nadiya Hussain backlash

Scottish author Jenny Colgan. Picture: Graham Jepson.
Scottish author Jenny Colgan. Picture: Graham Jepson.
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Scottish ‘chick-lit’ author Jenny Colgan has deleted her Twitter account after a review she wrote of Great British Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain’s debut novel received a fierce backlash.

The author, who writes popular romance books, penned an article complaining about celebrities who employ ghost writers to co-author their books.

She asked of Hussain, who has had a successful career since appearing on the BBC1 baking show, “Does she really need to put her name to a novel, too, when there’s only so much shelf space to go around?”

Colgan, from Prestwick, also claimed the “main thrust” of Hussain’s novel ‘The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters’ was that “big noisy religious families are all more or less the same”.

She also called Hussain “greedy” for using a ghost writer.

Colgan’s review was met with criticism on Twitter, prompting her to delete her account,

She received hundreds of negative tweets, calling her “highly ignorant”, “awful” and “mean spirited”

Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat, wrote: “Muslim women have little enough of a platform. They do not need to hear that one of the few Muslim women on TV is “taking up too much space.”

Jim Martin, a publisher at Bloomsbury books, wrote: “What a nasty little piece. Surprising that Jenny Colgan, while accusing Nadiya of being ‘greedy’, has no concept of agents, or what they do.”

Journalist Philip Ellis blasted: “This entire review is based on the premise that you can’t like baking AND books.

“If you’re going to rail against ghostwritten novels with celebrity names on them, why not start with Katie Price or Zoella?

“Novels are not textbooks. If you don’t know a thing about British Muslims that is not the fault of any author.”

Writer Kirsty Stricklan added: “‘There is only so much shelf space to go around’ What a bizarre, mean-spirited ‘review.”

But fellow Scottish author and journalist, Muriel Gray defended Colgan, writing: “Has the world gone completely bat***t crazy? Who in their right mind would hound the gentle, kind funny Jenny Colgan off Twitter and why!??”

Author Hannah Beckerman added: “People hounding Jenny Colgan for a very sensible article about there being too many celebrity novels? That’s Twitter at its worst.”