Bare-breasted women are perfectly fine but Dicks was offensive?

Though my most recent novel, MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND,  is published in England (and doing quite well), I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting the country.

But it has come to my attention (through its publisher's recent defense) that The Sun, a popular British tabloid newspaper, publishes large, color photographs of topless women on Page 3 (so ubiquitous that it is routinely capitalized) every day.

When I say popular, I mean popular. The Sun has the ninth-largest circulation of any newspaper in the world and the largest circulation of any daily newspaper in the United Kingdom.

Other interesting facts about Page 3:

  • After polling its readers, the Sun also instituted a policy of only featuring models with natural breasts.
  • Up until 2003, The Sun could legally publish photographs of 16 and 17-year old girls.
  • The Sun also has an official Page 3 website,, which is one of the most trafficked websites in all of the United Kingdom.

After reading all this, I am confounded.

This the same country where I was required to change my last name because my publisher feared that Dicks would be considered too offensive.

Bare-breasted women intermingled with the important news of the day is apparently just fine with British audiences, but a book with the word Dicks on it, even if it’s clearly a last name, would be too much for them to bear.

I don’t pretend to understand the British psyche, but I’m also not sure if it’s even possible to understand.