Friday, April 28, 2006

Happy, sad, happy, sad

The partially-plagiarized Opal Mehta is being pulled from shelves by its publisher.

Megan McCafferty, author of the works that were plagiarized, issued this fairly classy statement:

The past few weeks have been very difficult, and I am most grateful to my readers for offering continual support. . . . In my career, I am, first and foremost, a writer. So I look forward to getting back to work and moving on, and hope Ms. Viswanathan can too.

Pulling the book is the only appropriate thing to do, but there are also interesting questions being raised about what hand the book packager, Alloy Entertainment, may have had in the "internalized" passages.

And the paper that broke the story reflects on the public reaction.


Blogger MeiMeiLn said...

This has gotten rather serious ... so now I am starting to feel bad for Harvard chick, but still...there's a part of my raisin heart that is like, "My god, she's a dumbass."

Mon May 01, 12:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger TadMack said...

I thought from the beginning that the packagers had a lot to do with this... the girl was seventeen, and all the adults encircling her looked at her - bright, articulate, ethnic - and thought "Ka-ching!" and so sort of pushed and pulled her along for the ride, not protecting her like adults are supposed to do, even for older kids. How much you wanna bet that her $20K a year college advisor who got her into Harvard and in touch with William Morris didn't get compensated for her pains? How much praise and pomp did Harvard get for having a up and coming populist writer within its walls? (You can bet someone contacted her for a PR brochure to lure people [with money]who want to go to Harvard but are turned off by the egg-head image.)Everybody got something from this rich, dumb young thing who is from a privileged family and was apparently ripe to be taken advantage of, and in the end, this girl is left with... what? Nada. And see seems stunned, like she doesn't remember what she did on a bender or something. There's something weird about this.

Deeply disturbing, too, the visceral racial reaction people have had against her... All that impotent rage and angst should be saved for editors and publishers. It's a business, and there are hacks there who take advantage there like everywhere else... Poor girl, her only crime is being young and stupid and gulled... none of the hands reaching out to her were for her benefit, or for her guidance; everyone just wanted a piece of her.

Makes me glad to be old and crusty and raisin-hearted and not seventeen anymore.

Mon May 01, 04:02:00 PM EDT  

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