[FoRK] The Kaavya Viswanathan ("Harvard Novelist") plagiarism case

Matt Jensen < mattj at newsblip.com > on > Tue Apr 25 12:51:45 PDT 2006

Two thoughts.

1. Just an interesting coincidence: this past weekend was the biannual  
used book sale for the Seattle Public Library.  There was a copy of  
"Sloppy Firsts" (which I'd never heard of) sticking out like a sore  
thumb in a section in which it clearly didn't belong.

2. Who's going to offer the plaigarism-detection farm?  After a number  
of high-profile plaigarism cases in the last decade, I'd think there  
would be a good market for a service that accepts a book draft,  
compares it to a few million existing titles, and spits out suspicious  
overlaps.  The customers would be publishers (and maybe literary  
agents).  There are services for checking college term papers, so why  
don't book publishers do this?

Matt Jensen

Quoting Rohit Khare <rohit at commerce.net>:

>> Suspicion enveloped the precocious college sophomore Kaavya   
>> Viswanathan yesterday after The Harvard Crimson reported that   
>> passages in her newly published debut novel, which helped earn her   
>> a $500,000 deal from Little, Brown, are "strikingly similar" to
>> ...
>>  "Sloppy Firsts" (Crown), a 2001 novel by Megan F.  McCafferty, the  
>> author of three novels and a former editor at  Cosmopolitan. One  
>> 14-word passage appears in both books, The  Crimson reported.

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