Harvard Author Agrees to Change Book Passages


Last Thursday, I mentioned the news about Kaavya Viswanathan signing a huge book deal at such a young age. At a time when most kids are saving the rent money for their prom tuxedo, she cashed in on a two book deal.

Over the weekend and on Monday, questions began popping up about similarities between Viswanathan’s How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got A Life: A Novel and two Megan McCafferty novels. GalleyCat, in particular, provided some interesting commentary on the scandal and discussed the role book packager 17th Street Productions might have played.

Just about an hour-and-a-half ago, Yahoo! News picked up an Associated Press report that states Viswanathan “promised to change her debut novel in future editions after acknowledging that she had unintentionally borrowed material from an author she deeply admired.” The author blames the coincidences on how much she “internalized Ms. McCafferty’s words. I am a huge fan of her work and can honestly say that any phrasing similarities between her works and mine were completely unintentional and unconscious.”

Viswanathan herself initially curtly denied any copying or influence, but now she’s saying McCafferty’s books spoke to her in a way that few others did. As Galleycat comments this morning, “It’s quite a jump from ‘I have no idea what you are talking about’ to ‘I am a huge fan of her work.'”

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