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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2006, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Copy claim author loses book deal
Kaavya Viswanathan
Ms Viswanathan's novel was published in the US in March
A novel written by a Harvard student has been permanently withdrawn from sale and her two-book deal cancelled, after allegations of plagiarism.

Publisher Little, Brown had initially said Kaavya Viswanathan's book, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life, would be revised.

But the company has announced it will not be publishing a new edition.

Last month Ms Viswanathan apologised for similarities between her book and works by author Megan McCafferty.

Advance payment

She said the similarities were unintentional and promised to change her novel for future print runs.

But Michael Pietsch, Little, Brown's senior vice president and publisher, said on Tuesday: "Little, Brown and Company will not be publishing a revised edition of How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life by Kaavya Viswanathan, nor will we publish the second book under contract."

The company declined to comment on whether Ms Viswanathan would have to return her reported six-figure advance.

Ms Viswanathan did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Opal Mehta tells the story of a brilliant student from New Jersey, who is rejected from Harvard because she has no social life.

'Literary theft'

Little, Brown pulled the book after similarities were discovered to two works by Ms McCafferty - Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings.

Crown Publishing Group, which published Ms McCafferty's work, said more than 40 passages of Ms Viswanathan's book contained either identical language or common scene and dialogue structure to two of Ms McCafferty's books.

Its senior vice president, Steve Ross, called it "an act of literary theft".

Meanwhile, a newspaper based in New Jersey has said it will review articles Ms Viswanathan wrote for their 180,000-circulation daily paper while working as an intern in 2003 and 2004.

Frank Scandale, editor of The Record in Bergen County, said he will hire a service to vet about a dozen features she wrote for the paper.

Mr Scandale said: "We have no reason to believe there's anything wrong with her copy. But in light of what's going on, we thought we should check her stuff out."

Copy claim student novel pulled
28 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Author sorry for 'borrowed' work
25 Apr 06 |  Entertainment


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