C K Stead has taken exception to two aspects of a review of The Faber Book of Contemporary South Pacific Stories in our issue of March 1994.
If Roger Robinson’s review gave readers the impression that the absence of four writers from the anthology arose from jealousy on the part of Professor Stead, rather than any legitimate reason, this was not intended.
New Zealand Books accepts that in fact these writers were selected for the anthology and had signed letters of contract sent to them by Professor Stead. For their own reasons these writers then asked to have their work withdrawn. Professor Stead advises that this was agreed to at considerable cost and inconvenience to the publisher.
In addition, a reference to the American ice skater Tonya Harding was inappropriate, especially in the light of information first known after the review was published. Any comparison between Ms Harding’s approach to sport and Professor Stead’s approach to his role as an editor and critic is invalid and is expressly withdrawn.
New Zealand Books, its editor and its publisher, the Peppercorn Press, regret that a vigorous review, conducted in the traditions of combative debate which Professor Stead has himself upheld, on this occasion strayed too far in these respects. A sincere apology is tendered to Professor Stead.