Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has canceled the publication of Naomi Wolf's book "Outrages" in the United States, months after the discovery of errors during a radio interview.
In "Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love", Ms. Wolf examined how Victorian laws criminalized same-sex relationships. In May, during a BBC radio interview with Matthew Sweet, he told him that he had found evidence of "several dozen executions" of men accused of having sex with other men. But Mr. Sweet pointed out that Mrs. Wolf was misunderstanding the legal term "registered death", saying it meant that the men had been pardoned. "I don't think any of the executions you identified here actually took place," he told her.
In June, a few days before the sale of the book in the United States, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt postponed the publication and recalled copies of retailers, an unusual and costly move. The publisher said at the time that "new questions have arisen that require more time to be explored". Now, he pulled the book all the way.
On Monday, a spokesman for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt said in an e-mail that Mrs. Wolf and the publisher "agreed mutually and amicably to be part of the company".
Ms. Wolf confirmed the separation but stated in an e-mail that "Outrages" would be released in the United States "in due course" and that she was preparing it for publication in paperback in Great Britain.
Publishers in general they rely on authors to verify their work, but examples like these – one of many in this year where high-profile books such as "Merchants of Truth", former New York Times executive director Jill Abramson , and "Siege: Trump Under Fire," by journalist Michael Wolff, has been criticized for inaccuracies – he sparked a debate about whether publishers should be held responsible for these errors.