04 May 2006

How Opal Mehta Got Sticky Fingers

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.


k said...

A boy in my class was on New York Magazine's "100 Kids Who May Well Be Justly Famous By 2014" list, along with that girl. He met her and said she was the most pretentious person he ever met. She actually had a "life coach" from the time she was very young, to basically mold her into ivy-league material. I got a chance to see the exerpts they claim were plagiarized and they really are. I mean, this girl copied some descriptions word-for-word. I'm actually happy she got busted. How low can you stoop to steal someone's words?

Marie said...

BOO! Good for her! Stuffy ivy league plagiarizing fool!