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Thread: Another lying, plagarizing 'author' bites the dust

  1. #1
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Another lying, plagarizing 'author' bites the dust

    NEW YORK May 2, 2006 (AP) A Harvard University student's "chick lit" novel has been permanently withdrawn and her two-book deal canceled, publisher Little, Brown and Co. announced Tuesday, as allegations of literary borrowing proliferated against Kaavya Viswanathan's "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life."

    "Little, Brown and Company will not be publishing a revised edition of 'How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life' by Kaavya Viswanathan, nor will we publish the second book under contract," Michael Pietsch, Little Brown's senior vice president and publisher, said in a statement.

    Little, Brown, which had initially said the book would be revised, declined to comment on whether Viswanathan would have to return her reported six-figure advance. Tuesday's decision caps a stunning downfall for the 19-year-old Viswanathan, a Harvard sophomore whose novel came out in March to widespread attention.

    Viswanathan, who was 17 when she signed the deal, did not immediately return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

    A spokeswoman for Alloy Entertainment, a book packager that helped Viswanathan shape her narrative and shared the book's copyright, said the company would have no comment. Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, a literary agent who represented both Viswanathan and Alloy, also said she would not comment.

    The novel had modest sales initially, but interest in used editions of the book remains strong enough that it was the No. 58 seller on Amazon.com on Tuesday afternoon.

    Meanwhile, The Record of Bergen County said Tuesday that it will review the news articles Visvanathan wrote for the 180,000-circulation daily paper in northern New Jersey while an intern in 2003 and 2004.

    Editor Frank Scandale said The Record, which has written several of its own articles about the plagiarism allegations, will hire a service to vet the dozen or so light features she wrote while one of about 18 interns at the paper.

    Scandale recalled Viswanathan as having strong writing skills for a high schooler, and as an upbeat, affable young woman.

    OK, I just have to ask one thing: what has happened to integrity? What has happened to character? Why are all these people lying and/or plagarizing and why are we, the readers, not more pissed off?
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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! ourmaninBusan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another lying, plagarizing 'author' bites the dust

    This is an interesting case. Which is worse:

    1. James Frey claiming he was involved in events which
    didn't happen (or didn't involve him); or

    2. this girl stealing passages from another person's novel?

    Although Frey caused some high distress when he claimed to be
    at the scene of some train accident or other, he didn't actually
    pass work off as his own....so if the plagiarism is extensive,
    I'd say she committed the greater intellectual infraction.

    ♫` ∴|| ~∞≠∝ ♫♪ $ -4C

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    Default Re: Another lying, plagarizing 'author' bites the dust

    I saw another article today on this subject and apparently, she lifted from other authors as well, including Meg Cabot. There is a passage in "Opal" that is almost verbatim from one in "The Princess Diaries."

    Here is the last part of the article. The first part is the same as the first post in this thread. This is from AP:

    The Harvard Crimson student newspaper, alerted by reader e-mails, reported Tuesday on its Web site that "Opal Mehta" contained passages similar to Meg Cabot's 2000 novel, "The Princess Diaries." The New York Times also reported comparable material in Viswanathan's novel and Sophie Kinsella's "Can You Keep a Secret?"
    In Cabot's "The Princess Diaries," published by HarperCollins, the following passage appears: "There isn't a single inch of me that hasn't been pinched, cut, filed, painted, sloughed, blown dry, or moisturized. ... Because I don't look a thing like Mia Thermopolis. Mia Thermopolis never had fingernails. Mia Thermopolis never had blond highlights."
    In Viswanathan's book, page 59 reads: "Every inch of me had been cut, filed, steamed, exfoliated, polished, painted, or moisturized. I didn't look a thing like Opal Mehta. Opal Mehta didn't own five pairs of shoes so expensive they could have been traded in for a small sailboat."
    A spokeswoman for Alloy Entertainment, a book packager that helped Viswanathan shape her narrative and shared the book's copyright, said the company would have no comment. Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, a literary agent who represented both Viswanathan and Alloy, also said she would not comment.


    What bothers me more than the authors -- who I think in both the cases of Frey and this girl knew they were doing something wrong -- are the editors, publishing companies and literary agents who are letting this happen in order to make a buck.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another lying, plagarizing 'author' bites the dust

    I'll agree she has more to answer for but I still think they're both shining examples of what a character and integrity free world we're living in.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

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    Hit By Ban Bus! UndercoverGator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another lying, plagarizing 'author' bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyMix
    I agree with that butt....but for some reason I just don't really have much of an issue with James Frey. I am certain (even though it really has nothing to do with the subject at hand) its because he was able to knock Oprahzilla down a few pegs which she desperately needs.
    Same here! Anything that embarasses Orpah is all good....

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    Default Re: Another lying, plagarizing 'author' bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by tulip
    What bothers me more than the authors -- who I think in both the cases of Frey and this girl knew they were doing something wrong -- are the editors, publishing companies and literary agents who are letting this happen in order to make a buck.
    Are they though? Unless you had read the books being plagerised would you know the book you're reading was a slice & dice job? Isn't it just their job to find a book that's marketable, not research it entirely to ensure they're buying something valid?

    Now that it's becoming something that's making news, I wouldn't be surprised if they fashion the same type of system being used by teachers to catch plagerism. Scan each book as it's submitted to see how much of it's really original. There goes the cost of books... again.

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    Elite Member Glasgow53's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another lying, plagarizing 'author' bites the dust

    James Frey doesn't bother me all that much, either. First of all, he embarassed the great Opster. Secondly, he is a junkie, and I just know not to trust what junkies say. Most of them have trouble with the truth, either by being deceitful or just plain not remembering things right.
    Keep passing the open windows.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another lying, plagarizing 'author' bites the dust

    i have no trouble with james frey. as long as you don't claim to be writing non-fiction, anything written as a novel or memoir is fine. even if it turns out to be complete lies. and if people are idiotic enough to make it into their bible and then feel 'betrayed' when it turns out to be fake, that's their problem.

    however, plagiarism or copying other others i consider the most unforgivable sin a 'writer' can commit.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Silver Member tofucheesecake's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another lying, plagarizing 'author' bites the dust

    I'm still suspecting as to how much of this is actually Kaavya's fault. She had very elitist parents who thought the book deal would be the "edge" she would need to get into Harvard. And as for the teen chick lit publisher (as if teen chick lit novels weren't all alike to begin with)...well, let's just say they seem to take a lot of work out of writing a novel: http://www.shns.com/shns/g_index2.cf...INKIN-05-09-06

    Which isn't to say that maybe some of it could be her fault, too, and how stupid could the publishers be to lift so much from other books? But the point is...don't vilify her too much until we hear the whole story.

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    Silver Member AyanEva's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another lying, plagarizing 'author' bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by tofucheesecake
    I'm still suspecting as to how much of this is actually Kaavya's fault. She had very elitist parents who thought the book deal would be the "edge" she would need to get into Harvard. And as for the teen chick lit publisher (as if teen chick lit novels weren't all alike to begin with)...well, let's just say they seem to take a lot of work out of writing a novel: http://www.shns.com/shns/g_index2.cf...INKIN-05-09-06

    Which isn't to say that maybe some of it could be her fault, too, and how stupid could the publishers be to lift so much from other books? But the point is...don't vilify her too much until we hear the whole story.
    Pressure or no, she still knew she was plagiarizing. I do feel a little sorry for her because of the pressure that I'm sure she was under. Still, it's no excuse.


    AyanEva

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