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Wednesday, 3 May 2006
Harvard and Chick Lit

I confess, I've never actually read a "chick lit" novel, unless reading Little Women in fourth grade counts, but I cannot repress my glee at the Harvard Crimson's report this morning about the downfall of Little Brown's little Miss chick lit author, Kaavya Viswanathan, and her sickeningly titled, ‘How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life,’ for which she received a cool half a million advance. 

Viswanathan admitted last week that she borrowed language from two of Megan F. McCafferty’s novels but that any similarities were “unintentional and unconscious.”

The Crimson reported yesterday that “Opal Mehta” also contained similarities to Meg Cabot’s 2000 novel “The Princess Diaries.” The New York Times noted further parallels between Viswanathan’s book and two works by Salman Rushdie and Sophie Kinsella.

Salman Rushdie too?  Hasn't the poor man been through enough?

The Record of Bergen County, N.J., also announced yesterday that it would hire a service to review the articles that Viswanathan wrote for the newspaper during internships in 2003 and 2004.

Evidently the books were already out  and on the shelves when the threat of looming lawsuits from other publishers forced Little Brown to pull them. Perhaps now her professors at Harvard might take a gander at her schoolwork, eh?  I mean instead of the usual "brown skinned girl with exotic name" pass that seems to count for a Harvard degree these days.

Posted on 05/03/2006 8:30 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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