Wednesday, May 17, 2006

How Opal Mehta Got Read, Got Pwned and Got Shelved For Life.

I knew I should have purchased a copy of Kaavya Viswanathan's book for twelve pounds when I was in Heathrow Airport last week. It was only a matter of time before copies sold like hotcakes on eBay for more than the cost of a day on the printer on which they were produced.

Last week, Little, Brown decided to yank all remaining copies of How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life from bookshelves everywhere and effectively ended the literary dream of an up-and-coming Harvard plagiarist. The sequal and the movie deal have been canned, and next to graduation, no topic is hotter in the Yard than this one.

I remember when the Blair Hornstine Project was documenting the day-by-day valedictorian battle between two incoming Harvard freshman, and Miss Hornstine turned out the be a plagiarist, as well. Harvard revoked its offer of admission.

It says a lot about American society when a "book packager" can turn a few copied ideas from unknown midlist titles into a bestseller and an Ivy League admission. If your parents have money and connections, and you have sufficient talent but mediocre work ethics, it might be prudent to study the rise and fall of cultural breakthroughs such as this one.

Honestly, I don't know which case I'm more upset about--using doctors to steal a valedictorianship, or stealing words to write about a valedictorianship.

In the mean time, I've heard good things about those midlist authors...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Enabled Comment Settings.

My apologies-- I didn't realize that the default setting for comments was restricted to ebloggers only. I've altered it to word verification so any one can tell me what an artistic hack I am, like some curious 'nitwit' felt the burning need to do some weeks ago. Better yet, you could always say something nice. :)

I'm in London visiting my aunt after a long weekend in Paris. Still blurting out short phrases in French. Will be home on Friday. A bientot!