Just when you thought that the number of authors that Kaavya Viswanathan had plagiarized had reached a ridiculous number, we learn of yet another instance of copying. Kaavya also plagiarized
author Salman Rushie's work.
In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN, Author Salman Rushdie thought Kaavya's lapses as anything other than "unintentional and unconscious".
"I must say I don't accept the idea that this could have been accidently or innocently done. The passages are too many and the similarities are two extensive. And I am sorry that this young girl pushed by the needs of a publishing machine and no doubt by her own ambition should have fallen into this trap so early in her career. I hope she can recover from it," said Rushdie.
Imitation may be the best form of flattery, but Rushdie is clearly not impressed.
In Rushdie's novel, Haroun enters a bus depot and passes by several posters written on the walls surrounding the depot's courtyard.
Likewise, in Viswanathan's novel,Opal helps another student place posters on a wall that discourage drug and alcohol use.
The poster in Rushdie's novel reads: "If from speed you get your thrill / take precaution-make your will."
The poster in Kaavya's reads: "If from drink you get your thrill, take precaution-write your will."
Another one from Rushdie goes: "All the dangerous overtakers / end up safe as undertaker's."
It is matched by Kaavya's, "All the dangerous drug abusers end up safe as total losers."
For now the distributors of the novel have recalled all editions from the shelves and have said that future printings of her novel will be revised 'to eliminate any inappropriate similarities' to McCafferty's novels.
But at the rate at which more similarities are cropping up, it seems Viswanathan may have to begin from scratch to revise her book of "internalisations", as it were.
So, she's plagiarized the work of Meg Cabot, Sophie Kinsella, Megan McCafferty and now.... Salmon Rushdie
? That's quite a diverse group of authors. So, what was the thinking here? That people who read Salmon Rushdie don't read chick lit, and therefore she wouldn't be caught? It's mind-boggling, really. No wonder Kirkus Reviews noted in its review of How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got A Life
that the work didn't seem very original. That reviewer must have had a terrible case of deja view
when she was reading the book, all the while she must have been muttering to herself: "Now why does that sound so familiar