May 2, 2006

Oh, Man, Look What’s Going On With Viswanathan Now…

Viswanathan Update:

From: The New York Times, 05/02/06:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/02/books/02auth.html?ex=1147233600&en=e8f0a101d1ba9134&ei=5070&emc=eta1

“Fresh passages in the novel by a Harvard sophomore, whose book was pulled from stores last week after she acknowledged plagiarizing portions of it, appear to be copied from a second author. At least three portions in the book, “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life,” by Kaavya Viswanathan, bear striking similarities to writing in “Can You Keep a Secret?,” a chick-lit novel by Sophie Kinsella.”

AND From: The Harvard Crimson, 05/02/06:

http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=513204

“Now she appears to have borrowed passages from Salman Rushdie’s “Haroun and the Sea of Stories,” and Meg Cabot’s “The Princess Diaries.” In each of the cases, the passages in question contain similar rhymes and descriptions. ”

Both articles go on to show the similarities. I read them. They are similar. Way too similar. I wouldn’t want to sit on that jury.

Things are getting really hairy for Viswanathan now, wouldn’t you say?

Sounds to me like Desperate First-Time Author Thrown Into a World She Wasn’t Prepared For = Way, Way Too Much Pressure To Perform All the Way Around.

But she went along with it. Photographic memory or not, which I wanted to believe last week when I first heard about it, if you go to the links and read the similarities, you’ll see Viswanathan appears to be in a giant economy-size peck of trouble.

Maybe it’s time publishers started thinking about publishing 25 books at $20,000 each to 25 authors who are really working at turning out original books, instead of 1 book at $500,000 to someone who wrote a thesis so she could get into college and tried (desperately) to turn it into a workable novel.

No schadenfreude here. It’s a damn shame, the whole thing. I feel sort of sorry for Viswanathan, I feel sorry for the authors whose books have allegedly been plagarized, I feel sorry for the agent who almost certainly went into this in good faith, and I feel sorry for the publishers who put so much money into this project only to have to recall the books.

But then, aren’t we always reading, here lately, about huge corporations having to recall products that have turned out to be wrong somehow?

I wonder why this has been happening with such regularity here in the USA. Although actually, no I don’t wonder.

My Take: We have two things going on here.

One: a lot of people siezing on a hot potential opportunity to make a lot of money.

Two: a young woman growing up in the new American culture where too many people, both young and older, seem to think it’s okay to lie and cheat to get ahead.

Growing societal problems, both.

Kind of reminds you of the beginning of The Fall of the Roman Empire, doesn’t it.

Hotclue, Signing off on this one.

The Writing World | Add A Comment  

Leave a Reply

Books

Newsletter

Feeds

Search

Categories

Archives

Copyright © 2006-2018 Beth Anderson. All Rights Reserved.
Web Design and Hosting by Swank Web Design | Powered by Wordpress | Log in