Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Harvard teen's novel a work of plagiarism?

A Harvard University student’s “chick lit” novel has been permanently withdrawn and her two-book deal canceled, publisher Little, Brown and Co. announced Tuesday, as allegations of literary borrowing proliferated against Kaavya Viswanathan’s “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life.”

“Little, Brown and Company will not be publishing a revised edition of ’How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life’ by Kaavya Viswanathan, nor will we publish the second book under contract,” Michael Pietsch, Little Brown’s senior vice president and publisher, said in a statement.

Little, Brown, which had initially said the book would be revised, declined to comment on whether Viswanathan would have to return her reported six-figure advance. Tuesday’s decision caps a stunning downfall for the 19-year-old Viswanathan, a Harvard sophomore whose novel came out in March to widespread attention.
Chin up, chickadee! You are now qualified to be a Democrat U.S. Senator from Delaware and possibly even president!