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Book News: Publisher's Charity To Pay $7.7 Million Settlement In For-Profit Case

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • The Pearson Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the educational publisher, will pay $7.7 million to settle allegations that the charity was used to advance the for-profit parent company. New York State's attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, said the charity paid for state education officials to attend Pearson conferences. In a statement, Schneiderman said, "The law on this is clear: non-profit foundations cannot misuse charitable assets to benefit their affiliated for-profit corporations." He added, "Moving forward, funds for Pearson Charitable Foundation will be used exclusively for legitimate charitable purposes, beginning with millions of dollars to help ensure that every public school student has a great teacher in the classroom." Most of the money from the settlement, $7.5 million, will go toward training new teachers in New York and other states.
  • TheDictionary of American Regional Englishis now in all its lexical glory. Don't be honeyfuggled — most of it is subscription-only. But you don't need to pungle up to have a look around.
  • In The New Yorker, Alice Gregory writes on the literature of anorexia: "The anorexic's chronic renunciation ... makes for a truly delusional, almost Dickensian world view, wherein people's inner qualities correlate to their physical attributes. Unlike other kinds of addictions, anorexia disguises itself as virtue. The anorexic is a modern-day phrenologist, searching for saintliness and vice in the bone structure of strangers. She is at once insane, dying, and inhumane."
  • In a New Statesman column dictated to his lawyer, Guantánamo Bay detainee Shaker Aamer explains the censorship policy at the U.S. military prison: "When I am allowed to read, it lifts — for a short while — the heavy gloom that hangs over me. [My lawyer] Clive amuses himself (and me) by testing what the censors will let through. It is difficult to identify any consistent or logical basis for the censorship: in months gone by, I have been allowed to read Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, but Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago did not make it through. On his most recent visit in October, Clive gave me a list of the titles he had dropped off for me, so I could let him know later what had been banned by what I prefer to call the Guantánamo Ministry of Information. One was Booky Wook Two by Russell Brand. I understand that Brand uses too many rude words. I suppose you have to be amused by that: the US military is solicitous of my sensitive nature, and wants to protect me from swearing."
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    Annalisa Quinn is a contributing writer, reporter, and literary critic for NPR. She created NPR's Book News column and covers literature and culture for NPR.
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