"Sky Blue Water," a collection of short stories by Minnesota writers edited by Jay Peterson and Collette A. Morgan, was set to have its launch party on Sept. 14.
Peterson, Morgan, and most of the young-adult writers who contributed to the anthology planned to be at the launch--National Book Award-winning writer William Alexander, John Coy, Pete Hautman, Shannon Gibney, Anika Fajardo, and many others. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book was intended for Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute, a Twin Cities organization that offers free tutoring and writing assistance for students.
But now the Press has announced it is pulling the published books from bookstores and postponing the launch party. The problem lies in one paragraph in the book's foreword. The foreword was written by Kevin Kling, and the error was introduced in the editing process, said Emily Hamilton, assistant director of marketing.
The paragraph states: "Some believe that the Vikings navigated from the Atlantic Ocean to Minnesota more than a hundred years before Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas."
The Press, Hamilton said in an e-mail, "deeply regrets the unintended and incorrect meaning of this phrase. This error is out of step with the spirit of inclusiveness the team on this volume is committed to and worked to achieve in the development of the book."
Hamilton said the Press printed 4,000 copies of the book at a cost of about $4,000.
Corrected books are expected to be available by late September, and the launch party will be rescheduled.
"In addition to the recall and reprint, we are going to examine how this error got by the editorial safeguards we have in place to prevent such inaccuracies from making their way into our published books," Hamilton said.
"At the U of MN Press we take these matters seriously. 'Sky Blue Water' is not only an entertaining book, filled with terrific stories, but it is a powerful educational tool and a diverse reflection of young people's lives in Minnesota. We are proud to publish it and believe this action will only strengthen the book as a whole. It's an important book and we want to get it right."