YA Author Plagiarism Controversy

I could not believe something like this happened. And I thought Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Trilogy had done enough copying the plotline of LOTR and Star Wars now someone has lift not only plot BUT ALSO LINES AND CHARACTERS.

Dinitia Smith of New York Times writes, "Kaavya Viswanathan, the Harvard sophomore accused of plagiarizing parts of her recently published chick-lit novel, acknowledged yesterday that she had borrowed language from another writer's books, but called the copying "unintentional and unconscious."
And it gets worse. My jaw literally dropped when I read the following sentences:

And the borrowings may be more extensive than have previously been reported. The Crimson cited 13 instances in which Ms. Viswanathan's book closely paralleled Ms. McCafferty's work. But there are at least 29 passages that are strikingly similar.

At one point in "Sloppy Firsts," Ms. McCafferty's heroine unexpectedly encounters her love interest. Ms. McCafferty writes:

"Though I used to see him sometimes at Hope's house, Marcus and I had never, ever acknowledged each other's existence before. So I froze, not knowing whether I should (a) laugh, (b) say something, or (c) ignore him and keep on walking. I chose a brilliant combo of (a) and (b).

" 'Uh, yeah. Ha. Ha. Ha.'

"I turned around and saw that Marcus was smiling at me."

Similarly, Ms. Viswanathan's heroine, Opal, bumps into her love interest, and the two of them spy on one of the school's popular girls.

Ms. Viswanathan writes: "Though I had been to school with him for the last three years, Sean Whalen and I had never acknowledged each other's existence before. I froze, unsure of (a) what he was talking about, or (b) what I was supposed to do about it. I stared at him.

" 'Flatirons,' he said. 'At least seven flatirons for that hair.'

" 'Ha, yeah. Uh, ha. Ha.' I looked at the floor and managed a pathetic combination of laughter and monosyllables, then remembered that the object of our mockery was his former best friend.

"I looked up and saw that Sean was grinning."

OMG! WTF?! Ms. Viswanathan deserves to be burned at the stake for this. Is that so called copying ""unintentional and unconscious."?? HELLO!! Are they blind or something?? The copied sentences ARE REALLY GLARINGLY OBVIOUS!! And they still call that unintentional and unconscious? As if that wasn't enough, Ms. Walsh,Ms. Viswanathan said,"Knowing what a fine person Kaavya is, I believe any similarities were unintentional. Teenagers tend to adopt each other's language."

Teenagers who are lucky (or stupid) enough to have a published book should know the responsibilities of plagiarism. Has anybody heard of the word copyright ? And yes, I do agree on the bit on tweens plagiarizing other authors' works. I've written a novel when I was 16 which was a ripoff from LOTR. But wisely knowing in advance it was trash in the first place, I hid it under dozens of paper. Now at 22, I read it again and stick my tongue out at how horrible and rated it is. Ms. YA Plagiarizer should have done this before "she got caught". But then who could resist the half a million dollars advance?

But the other Ms. Viswanathan who is a much better author than the younger Ms. Viswanathan can this explain it much better in her blog. Now this is much better writing, elegant, crisp and explains the criticism so much better than my crude sentences above. Now this is an author.

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