Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Another Missed Opportunity For Gail

Kaavya Viswanathan is now being accused of plagiarizing Sophie Kinsella, as well as Meg Cabot and Salman Rushdie in addition to Megan McCafferty.

What? Salman Rushdie?

That's right. You read what I wrote. Megan McCafferty, Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot, and Salman Rushdie.

We're no longer dealing with reality here. We're trapped in an episode of Saturday Night Live.

I stuck my neck out and remained sympathetic even when I woke up this morning to news of the Sophie Kinsella allegations. But now I am just plain stunned. And this is why:

Wouldn't you think a girl smart enough to get into Harvard would know enough not to plagiarize well-known authors? Wouldn't a smart Harvard girl avoid books that tens of thousands of people have read? Wouldn't you think she would look to a book that didn't break any sales records? A book written by someone like...


I have a YA novel I would have been happy to have plagiarized. Very few people have read it. Her chances of being caught were virtually nil. And if she did get caught, I could have used the publicity a whole lot more than Sophie Kinsella or Meg Cabot, let alone Salman Rushdie.

Why, oh, why, didn't she plagiarize me?

Wait! Maybe she did!

I can still hope, anyway.


Blogger Sherry said...

What I want to know is: who's spending their life reading and re-reading Opal, etc. and then comparing it to every other author under the sun? Has anyone done a word for word comparison between Opal and The Da Vinci Code? There's a project that doesn't tempt me at all.

8:48 PM  
Blogger gail said...

Another Saturday Night Live sketch--each week in Weekend Update they can announce another book she plagiarized. The Da Vinci Code would be a good one. Maybe a Curious George book, too.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Camille said...

After listening to a panel of YA authors talk about the help they get from their editors, I have to wonder, did she have an editor at all? Does her editor read? Nothing rang a bell? Just wondering.

I assume you have an editor how helps shape your books, don't you Gail?

10:42 AM  
Blogger gail said...

Oh, yes. The problem is that there are thousands and thousands of books published every year and no editor can have read every one. In fact, I worked with an editor for many years who didn't have opportunities to read much adult fiction. All her time went to reading manuscripts and keeping up with what was being published in children's books and YA. So if a YA author was plagiarizing an adult book, that editor wouldn't have much chance of catching it.

I do agree with the people who say the publishing houses have to trust the authors. I just don't see how it is physically possible for them to check everything.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I have a feeling ol' Salman must be pretty offended :)

2:06 PM  
Blogger Jacks said...

I am just a lowly bookseller but I will get right on your sales figures for Saving the Planet and Stuff.

A Year With Butch and Spike is one of my all time favorite books.

3:50 PM  
Blogger gail said...

There is no such thing as a lowly bookseller. You guys are the center of the book publishing world.

Butch and Spike will probably be mentioned in my obit among my survivors.

7:20 PM  
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