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World Book Night criticised for all-white 2016 giveaway list

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Fifteen-strong roster called ‘a sadly wasted opportunity to be truly diverse’ as space is found for Carol Ann Duffy and Matt Haig but not a single BAME author

Carol Ann Duffy, Jonathan Coe and Matt Haig are some of the major authors whose books are due to be handed out for free on World Book Night next year in a quest to create a “reading nation” – but a selection of titles hailed as “diverse” by organisers has come under fire for failing to include a single writer of colour.

The sixth edition of World Book Night on 23 April 2016 will see thousands of volunteers across the UK and Ireland giving away around 200,000 copies of 15 books, chosen by a panel of experts and described by organisers as “a sensational and diverse lineup of crime, poetry, non-fiction, quick reads, YA, historical fiction and fiction in translation”.

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