Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Two Strikes and you are out?

Well, now it seems that a second author has come forward and accused Kaavya Viswanathan of lifting work from her. With all the furor and media attention surrounding her book, maybe it was inevitable that another writer would find passages that bore a striking similarity to their own work. Unfortunately, the author in question is Sophie Kinsella, which means that this story isn't going to go away any time soon. Granted, I am perpetuating it as well, which means I bear some guilt in not letting it go gently into that good night, but Dylan Thomas wouldn't want it to go so quietly.

It has gotten to the point where Random House, who published both Kinsella's and McCafferty's work will not comment on the matter further, because after all, the damage is done, and there is no use kicking your competition while they are down.

I thought Viswanathan could get passed this, I really did, but this second accusation is going to put a huge dent in any recovery to her burgeoning career. And I bet that on some level, the executives at Little, Brown are a little upset that she didn't borrow from any of their midlist authors and get some additional press for those titles.

In the end, this whole situation is likely going to end very badly, and perhaps serve as a cautionary tale for other young writers. Then again, this sort of thing has happened before and will probably happen again. I just hope it isn't this year.

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