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Joss Stone's Midwife Crisis

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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• Who needs rock stardom when you could be elbow-deep in placenta? Not Joss Stone. Interviewed for an installment of XM Satellite Radio's Artist Confidential series set to air next week, the neo-soul star revealed what she plans to be doing in 20 years' time: "I would like to be a midwife." Her reasoning? "I don't want to sit on my deathbed and say 'I was just a singer.'"

• Score one for the hill people! The New Yorker has published an apology from Columbia University professor Peter Gordon, who was quoted using the term "Appalachian inbreeding" in a recent article about an isolated South American tribe. "The implication that there is any kind of widespread mental retardation in the Appalachian community has been extremely offensive and deeply hurtful," Gordon writes. "To the extent that my remarks have added to these negative and untrue stereotypes, I am deeply sorry."

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Gordon had been assailed by angry e-mails from residents of the region. It's hard not to feel sympathy for him: Who knew Appalachian folk read the New Yorker? Or had computers?

• Congratulations, PJ Harvey—you have a lit stalker! San Francisco writer Kate Schatz has produced a novel titled Rid of Me, an "innovative meditation" on Harvey's alt-rock album of the same name. Out in August, it "tells the story of Kathleen and Mary, two women who find themselves alone in a house in the middle of the dark, forbidden forest that borders their depressed valley town," according to the back cover copy. Sounds like it'll be just as much fun to read as the album is to listen to.

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