HarperCollins Australia has apologised and agreed to pulp unsold copies of its flagship 2015 release – Paul Keating: The Biography by David Day – to settle a fierce legal battle with the former Labor prime minister.
Biography is in the news for the wrong reasons today. It’s a dangerous thing to write anyone’s life story, but even more so a living person, and one about whom you make a controversial claim based on inference. In this case, that Australia’s former prime-minister has dyslexia. I haven’t read it – and now only some ever will – so I cannot judge. I wonder if Day had made his claim less dogmatically, offering the counter-evidence and a response from Keating and his friends on the dyslexia claim, if he wouldn’t have been in trouble like this. No matter the rights and wrongs, I am imagining the pain of Day right now.