Hill told the Guardian, “If you use it [Negroes] in Toronto or Montreal, you are probably just indicating publicly that you are out of touch with how people speak these days. But if you use it in Brooklyn or Boston, you are asking to have your nose broken. When I began touring with the novel in some of the major US cities, literary African-Americans kept approaching me and telling me it was a good thing indeed that the title had changed, because they would never have touched the book with its Canadian title.”
The book, which was an “O Magazine” top summer selection in 2010, has certainly raised the ire of many for its title.
Two years ago, the Dutch group “Federation for Honour and Reparation of Slavery in Surinam” burned the book’s cover–not the book as a whole–because they deemed it offensive. In Dutch, the title is translated to Het Negerboek.