Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Update on Harvard student-author's plagiarism

Publisher cancels young author`s book deal

NEW YORK, NY, United States (UPI) -- Amid new allegations of plagiarism Little, Brown & Co. has canceled 19-year-old Kaavya Viswanathan`s two-book contract.

Viswanathan acknowledged last month her popular novel, 'How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life,' contained near-identical prose to that found in a book by Megan McCafferty, which Viswanathan said she unintentionally 'internalized.'

But Tuesday, new claims of plagiarism arose based on works by young-adult authors Sophie Kinsella and Meg Cabot.

That`s when the publisher pulled the plug, the Boston Globe reported.

'Little, Brown & Co. will not be publishing a revised edition of `How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life,` nor will we publish the second book under contract,' Senior Vice President and Publisher Michael Pietsch said in a one-sentence statement.

As well, the company recalled some 50,000 unsold copies of the novel, which was published April 4.

'Opal Mehta' had a first printing of 100,000 copies, and Viswanathan had received a two-novel contract worth $500,000 at age 17, a month after arriving at Harvard.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International