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Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996.

Simon & Schuster cancels Milo Yiannopoulos book deal

Milo Yiannopoulos. File photo by Jeremy Papasso/ Boulder Daily Camera.

Milo Yiannopoulos.  File photo by Jeremy Papasso/ Boulder Daily Camera.

Apparently there are limits, even for a provocateur.

Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos--well-known for his unapologetic comments about women, Muslims, minorities, transgender people and others--appears to have crossed a line. Over the weekend, a video surfaced of Yiannopoulos apparently expressing favorable views of pedophilia, and the backlash has been swift.

Yiannopoulos posted on Facebook that the video in question had been edited and that as a gay survivor of childhood sexual abuse he does not condone pedophilia.

"I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, 'advocacy,'" he wrote. "I deeply regret that." 

But a number of Breitbart employees reportedly have threatened to quit if Yiannopoulos is not fired, according to the Washingtonian. The Conservative Political Action Conference has disinvited him from its conference next week.

And now Publishers Weekly reports that Simon & Schuster has canceled its $250,000 book contract with him. Yiannopoulos' memoir, "Dangerous," had been scheduled to be published in June.

In the world of Twitter, many seemed to think this had come almost too late. One commenter noted, "Milo's sexism, racism and Islamaphobia was okay. Simon & Schuster only balked at pedophilia."

Coloring book about Romanov art by two Minneapolis artists prompts pop-up exhibit at TMORA

Twin Cities writer R.D. Zimmerman -- who also writes under the pen name Robert Alexander -- lived for many years in Russia, and his newest book is an homage to the artwork, architecture, clothing, gardens and beauty of Imperial Russia. 

"Vanished Splendor: The Colorful World of the Romanovs," published by Pegasus Books, is a coloring book, with historically accurate line drawings by Minneapolis graphic artist Christopher Bohnet.

The Faberge eggs, delicate teacups, tiny postage stamps and pearl-and-diamond crowns look odd and empty in black and white, but that of course is where you come in, with your crayons and watercolors.

Each illustration is accompanied by context from Zimmerman. "In my decades of traveling to Russia, I have come to understand that Russians are drama queens from the get-go," Zimmerman writes in the book's introduction. "They create buildings, music, art, ballet, fashion and more with mind-boggling creativity."

Some of the original illustrations from the book will be on display from Feb. 22 to 27 at the Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Av, Mpls., in conjunction with the museum's "Unknown Faberge" exhibit. The opening reception will be at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 22.

Zimmerman's novel "The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar," is being made into a movie starring Kristin Scott Thomas. He studied at Leningrad State University and has traveled and worked throughout Russia.

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