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Quick Takes: Radiohead delays shows

June 22, 2012

Radiohead has postponed part of its European tour after a stage collapse in Toronto killed the band's drum technician.

A statement posted on the British band's website Thursday said they are dealing with grief from the accident and practical considerations that have forced them to postpone shows in Italy, Germany and Switzerland scheduled through July 9.

Scott Johnson was killed Saturday when the stage came crashing down as the crew set up for a concert in Toronto's Downsview Park. Three other crew members were injured.

The band said the collapse destroyed its light show, which will take weeks to replace. The band says it plans to begin performing again on July 10 in Nimes, France.

—Associated Press

Penguin e-books head to libraries

Two New York City public library systems are set to get Penguin e-books as part of a one-year pilot program.

Penguin Group says if the program is successful, it could offer e-books to libraries nationwide. Until now, Penguin had been one of four major publishers that didn't make e-books available to libraries.

The Wall Street Journal reported that under the deal with Penguin and distributor 3M, the New York and Brooklyn systems will get the e-books six months after the titles go on sale in stores and online.

New York-based Penguin stopped selling e-books to libraries last fall because of unspecified security concerns.

—Associated Press

Maupin says bye to San Francisco

Armistead Maupin, whose seminal "Tales of the City" series is set in San Francisco, will leave that city behind for good, he says.

"It's been 41 years since I landed here and it gave me my story," the writer told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I keep reminding myself that Barbary Lane is portable and everything I learned here became part of me and is something I'll always have."

Maupin's "Tales of the City" was initially serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle, telling the story of inhabitants of 28 Barbary Lane. The first book, published in 1977, became a bestseller. He continued writing the series until 1989, and the work was turned into a PBS miniseries in 1993. In 2010, he returned to Barbary Lane with "Mary Ann in Autumn."

Maupin is moving to Santa Fe with his husband, Christopher Turner.

—Carolyn Kellogg

Israel, Walker at odds over book

Citing "apartheid" in Israel and the occupied territories, author Alice Walker declined an offer to publish a new Israeli edition of her prize-winning novel "The Color Purple."

In recent years, Walker has become an increasingly vocal advocate for Palestinian issues. Her reply to publisher Yediot Books, which had wanted rights to print a Hebrew edition of "The Color Purple," was posted on the website of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Walker's decision has stirred controversy. The Anti-Defamation League emailed its supporters, "It is sad that people who inspire to fight bigotry and prejudice continue to have a biased and bigoted side. For some time Walker has been blinded by her anti-Israel animus."

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted that Walker's book was published before in Israel; a Hebrew edition appeared in the 1980s.

—Carolyn Kellogg

Groening ends 'Life' on a high

Matt Groening has put an end to his "Life in Hell" comic strip, the weekly comic that he's been drawing for 35 years.

In an email to the website Poynter.org, Groening explained: "I've had great fun, in a Sisyphean kind of way, but the time has come to let Binky and Sheba and Bongo and Akbar and Jeff take some time off."

The strip, which initially described the young cartoonist's life after his move from Portland, Ore., to Los Angeles in 1977, was self-published for a few years until it was picked up by the weekly Los Angeles Reader in 1980.

The final original "Life in Hell" strip, the 1,669th, was released June 15. Old

strips will be reprinted until July 13.

—Patrick Kevin Day

$11.3 million for Magritte work

U.S. billionaire Wilbur Ross paid $11.3 million for a Rene Magritte painting at Christie's International in London.

Magritte's 1928 work "Les Jours Gigantesques" (The Titanic Days), showing a suited man grappling with a naked woman in the silhouette of a single figure, sold Wednesday night for a price with fees that was nine times its lower hammer-price estimate of $1.25 million.

—Bloomberg News

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