NewSouth published Clinton Walker’s Deadly Woman Blues: Black Women and Australian Music in February 2018 and it was recalled on 5 March 2018 after a small number of books were sold. We were made aware that not all the women who appeared in the book were consulted about current biographical details and that some entries contained errors of fact. We are deeply sorry for any hurt or distress this has caused the women concerned and apologise to them unreservedly. We will be publishing a list of corrections below when confirmed by those parties involved.
Kathy Bail, Chief Executive, UNSW Press Ltd and Phillipa McGuinness, Executive Publisher, NewSouth Publishing
I have been devastated to learn that my failure to consult with many of the women in my book Deadly Woman Blues has caused such distress and anguish to them and to their friends and families. The book started life in graphic form and grew into one hundred images across one hundred years. The accompanying text about the women’s life and work contains factual errors and I take responsibility for these. My publisher is working with these women to correct these mistakes on their website. I will be personally approaching some of these women to apologise over the coming weeks. I should have followed protocols and consulted and checked and am now reflecting on my processes as a writer. Given all this, withdrawing the book from sale is the right decision. I apologise unreservedly to the women, whose music has meant so much to me over decades, for any hurt I have caused.
Clinton Walker, 6 March 2018