Publisher to Probe Three Cups of Tea

Mortenson admits 'compressing' experiences, blames co-author
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2011 3:04 AM CDT
Viking to Probe Three Cups of Tea
The bestseller at the center of the storm.   (KaraKieth)

Viking is launching a review of its bestseller Three Cups of Tea following reports that facts were fudged in the memoir and a multi-million-dollar charity that grew out of the book may largely be a fraud. Several facts in writer Greg Mortenson's book and the sequel, Stones Into Schools—including his account that he was kidnapped by the Taliban—have been challenged by a 60 Minutes investigation and journalist Jon Krakauer. The former treasurer for Mortenson's charity, Central Asia Institute, has also charged that more money was spent on promoting Mortenson and the charity than on its stated aim of building schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Mortenson’s work "has provided tens of thousands of children with an education,” said a Viking spokeswoman. But "in the wake of" of the 60 Minutes report, Viking "plans to carefully review the materials with the author.” The statement is a clear sign that the publisher has serious concerns about the book's accuracy, reports the New York Times. Mortenson has said the 60 Minutes report was based on "inaccurate information" without going into specifics. In a new interview with Outside magazine, he admits the books compress various experiences into one, and blames some issues with his accounts on his co-author. (More Three Cups of Tea stories.)

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