Kaavya Viswanathan (think I spelled that right) is the young author of 'How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life,' a chick-lit book I thought about reading myself. And now she's accused of plagiarism. Apparently too many lines in her book bear strong similarities to parts of other novels in the same genre and perhaps even a Salmon Rushdie book.
I don't know this girl, and I can't help but feel slightly sad for anyone getting busted after receiving so much acclaim in recent months. Still, it just goes to show that nobody seems to have an original thought nowadays. Also, I think publishers are all too eager to come out with their new "discoveries", writers who obviously haven't lived enough to acquire their own life experiences to draw from. I know, Jane Austen completed Pride and Prejudice around the time she was 20: there are always exceptions.
The other issue is all these fancy university students who need to gain a reputation or something, so they write a book. Rarely do I pick up a new novel nowadays without seeing an extensive resume of degrees in the "About the Author" section. It rather nauseates me.
Maybe Ms. Viswanathan can pen a tell-all about plagiarism - if she needs some creative help, she can ask James Frey.