Team Fiction

How Kaavya Viswanathan got famous.

I'd say that there's more to this story
Of KV's reuse of priori.
Forty passages found
Makes 'internalized' sound
More like 'ripped off for personal glory.'

Say "I stole it. It's time to come clean,"
or "My book's from a chick-lit machine"?
No, instead, hide behind
The mystery of mind:
"Take pity, I'm only nineteen."

To admit that she deliberately plagiarized would be an extremely bad career move.

To admit that she didn't write the passages herself, and that she wasn't so much an author as a young attractive iconic front for a profitable prose machine, would be better for her but would be bad for the book packaging company (who would then have to admit that their company provides stolen material).

Her least dangerous path is to blame an untouchable source--the mysterious workings of her mind. People can say that they find it completely incredible, but who can prove or disprove it? So, there are identical wordings? An amazing memory could be expected for a talented writer (forgetting of course that she can't remember what belonged to someone else). Maintaining a shred of plausibility is all she needs to do to be able to profit from the extensive exposure.

(Via 3 Quarks Daily)

(More discussion at newsmericks)


Very well said and loved the verses!
And welcome to my blog :-)


Welcome to the VirJournal, Aparna.
After writing a couple of limericks on the fly in your blog comments, I decided to share them here.

I shrivel with vicarious embarrassment whenever I hear something like this. There's never any excuse for this sort of monkey business, but all the same...ouch! I can't even imagine trying to live this down.

Looks like she won't live it down.
Her publisher has withdrawn her book from sale and cancelled her two-book deal. Also, the articles she wrote for a New Jersey newspaper are going to be reviewed.

If she wants to write books in the future I guess it'll be under a different name, or perhaps an autobiographical "How my mind betrayed me and destroyed my big chance."

Maybe it's all an elaborate practical joke. Maybe it's going to turn out that EVERYTHING is lifted from somewhere, everything in the entire book--that it's an elaborate (and hilarious) patchwork job--a jab at the sameness and interchangeability of chick-lit authors.

I mean, it'd be a pretty ill-considered prank: accepting half a million dollars and then playing a joke isn't exactly wise. I can't get my head around the idea of someone plagiarising so extensively, though. Especially in such a public and obvious setting. What would go through one's head? Augh. My brain hurts.