A book called Covering: An Assault on Assimilation by a gay Asian-American law professor at Yale, Kenji Yoshino, was preempted last week by senior editor Jonathan Karp at Random House. He paid agent Betsy Lerner at the Gernert Agency what she called "a very handsome six figures" for the book, in which Yoshino goes after the ways in which people of minority cultures are encouraged, or ordered, to hide their cultural trademarks: an African-American woman prohibited from wearing cornrows at work, for example, or an Air Force serviceman denied permission to wear a yarmulke. Karp calls Yoshino's approach, which he first came across in the New York Times piece he wrote on this subject, as "poetic and personal and polemical all at once." He plans to publish in late 2003 or early 2004.