Thursday, April 27, 2006

Plagiarism in the News (Again)

By now everyone knows that the Harvard undergraduate writing phenomenon, Kaavya Viswanathan has been accused of using ideas and phrases from Megan McCafferty's Sloppy Firsts for her book, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life, reviewed in this blog recently. Every day the case against the young author sounds worse, but there seems to be plenty of blame to go around - to her editors and handlers and the hired college "coach" specifically. See this article in the New York Times which discusses the process that goes into making a teen/chick lit title. The article states: "Nobody associated with the plagiarism accusations is pointing fingers at Alloy, a behind-the-scenes creator of some of the hottest books in young-adult publishing. Ms. Viswanathan says that she alone is responsible for borrowing portions of two novels by Megan McCafferty, "Sloppy Firsts" and "Second Helpings." But at the very least, the incident opens a window onto a powerful company with lucrative, if tangled, relationships within the publishing industry that might take fans of series like "The It Girl" by surprise. "

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