Agatha Christie is the latest author to have her novels updated to remove offensive language, the Telegraph reports.
Several books by the legendary mystery writer, one of the bestselling authors of all time, have been edited for new editions published by HarperCollins. The changes in the novels are mostly related to descriptions of characters’ ethnicities or appearances.
Among the edited books is Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. A line in which the detective Hercule Poirot refers to another character as “a Jew, of course,” has been removed, as has a term for Romani people that is now seen as derogatory.
In Death on the Nile, a passage in which a character says of a group of children, “They come back and stare, and stare, and their eyes are simply disgusting, and so are their noses, and I don’t believe I really like children,” has been changed to remove the references to the children’s eyes and noses.
The N-word has been removed from the revised versions, which is not the first time that change has been made to Christie’s work. Her novel And Then There Were None was originally published with a title that contained the racial slur. In some later editions, the N-word in the title was replaced with a term for Native Americans that is now considered by many to be outdated and offensive.
The changes to Christie’s novels comes after reports about similar edits that have been made in books by Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming, and R.L. Stine.
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.