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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Author sorry for 'borrowed' work
Kaavya Viswanathan
Ms Viswanathan published her debut novel in the US last month
A US student-novelist has apologised for similarities between her debut work and another writer's books.

Harvard University student Kaavya Viswanathan said resemblances between her book and novels by Megan McCafferty were "unintentional and unconscious".

She apologised to Ms McCafferty, saying she had been unaware that she had "internalized" the author's works.

Ms Viswanathan promised to change How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life in future print runs.

Hollywood studio DreamWorks has already acquired the movie rights to the book.

A newspaper claimed seven passages in Ms Viswanathan's book closely resembled sections from Ms McCafferty's work.

Ms Viswanathan's novel tells the story of a straight-A student from New Jersey, who is rejected from Harvard because she has no social life.

'Unintentional errors'

The novels of former Cosmopolitan magazine editor Ms McCafferty follow a heroine from New Jersey who excels in high school but struggles with her identity and longs for a boyfriend.

Ms Viswanathan said she had "read and loved" two of Ms McCafferty's novels when she was younger and was "very surprised and upset" to learn of the similarities with her own novel.

She added: "I am a huge fan of her work and can honestly say that any phrasing similarities between her works and mine were completely unintentional and unconscious."

The student also apologised to anyone who felt "misled by these unintentional errors on my part".

She signed her contract with publisher Little Brown at the age of 17, making her the youngest author signed by the publisher in decades.


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