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Book News: John Grisham Backs Down From Comments On Child Pornography

John Grisham, seen here in 2009, said Thursday in a statement: "I regret having made these comments, and apologize to all."
Bebeto Matthews
John Grisham, seen here in 2009, said Thursday in a statement: "I regret having made these comments, and apologize to all."

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

John Grisham has backpedaled from his recent comments regarding child pornography, which were made in an interview published Thursday. The best-selling writer apologized in a statement posted on his Facebook and on his personal website, saying he "in no way intended to show sympathy for those convicted of sex crimes, especially the sexual molestation of children."

The apology came less than a day after the interview's publication in the British newspaper The Telegraph. In the course of that conversation, Grisham touched on the topic of U.S. prison populations.

"We have prisons now filled with guys my age — 60-year-old white men, in prison, who've never harmed anybody, would never touch a child. But they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn."

Grisham added: "I have no sympathy for real pedophiles. God, please lock those people up. But so many of these guys don't deserve harsh prison sentences, and that's what they're getting."

The comments sparked a near-immediate firestorm online — which was followed, almost as quickly, with Grisham's apology: "Anyone who harms a child for profit or pleasure, or who in any way participates in child pornography — online or otherwise — should be punished to the fullest extent of the law."

Potter Threepeat: When the world of Harry Potter returns to the big screen, it turns out that it'll be staying there for quite some time. Warner Bros. has confirmed that the Potter(ish) flick Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them won't be just one film, but three — the first of which, at least, will be scripted by J.K. Rowling herself. The first installment is slated to hit theaters Nov. 18, 2016.

Will The Real Elena Ferrante Please Stand Up? Italian writer Domenico Starnone would very much like you to note that, at least in this metaphor, he's still sitting. Despite similarities in their writing and some biographical details, The Guardian reports that Starnone's fed up with the questions about whether he's behind Elena Ferrante, the pseudonym adopted by a mysterious, and internationally popular, Italian novelist. "Explain to me one thing," Starnone said. "Given that it is so rare, in this mud puddle that is Italy, to have international reach, why would we not make the most of it? What would induce us to remain in the shadow?"

Two Peeks At Twin Peaks: One corner of the Internet just about combusted recently with news that the cult TV show Twin Peaks would be revived on Showtime in 2016, some 25 years after its most recent episode aired. Now, Peaks fans, prepare for more: Mark Frost, who created the show with David Lynch, is also writing a book that follows the show's characters in the decades since last we saw them. The Secret Lives of Twin Peaks will be published shortly before the show returns to the air.

Leaning Ly-ward: In a blog for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Lucy Feriss notes the last bastion of adverbs: the courtroom. And along the way, she offers adverb apologists — myself among them — this word of solace for the unfairly condemned part of speech. "Like everything else in our language (yeah, I'm talkin' to you, Passive Voice; and you, those cuss words I can't write here), adverbs have great work to do and should be handled responsibly."

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Colin Dwyer covers breaking news for NPR. He reports on a wide array of subjects — from politics in Latin America and the Middle East, to the latest developments in sports and scientific research.

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