Despite assurances that her new book only has the two errors very publicly pointed out on the BBC, it appears Naomi Wolf’s latest tome may have a few more.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the US publisher of Outrages, is holding off on putting it in bookstores until they can clear up some misstatements that probably could have been caught using Google prior to printing up a bunch of copies. The postponement for the release of the book, which claims that the Obscene Publications Act of 1857 led to an increase in homophobia and executions for sodomy in the Victorian Era, follows an on-air fact-checking by the BBC’s Matthew Sweet that damn near killed me.
But rest assured, a statement from the publisher promises they’ve got some crack editors on the case now:
“As we have been working with Naomi Wolf to make corrections to Outrages, new questions have arisen that require more time to explore. We are postponing publication and requesting that all copies be returned from retail accounts while we work to resolve those questions.”
Wolf, for her part, is against delaying the U.S. release because, while she didn’t know what the term “death recorded” meant while writing her book, apparently critics don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about either, according to The Guardian:
“Wolf said on Friday morning that she strongly objected to the decision to postpone and recall, and that she would “do all I can to bring Outrages to American readers.”
She said she had made necessary changes immediately following her BBC interview, adding that critics had “also introduced errors of their own.” The heart of her book, she said, was “not criminology … but censorship”, and “‘the chill felt by pioneers such as John Addington Symonds who tried to speak out about love.’”
While we all wait with undoubtedly bated breath for the new, accurate version of this book, please enjoy the terms “vaginal slander” and “rat pussy” from our Naomi Wolf archives.