Thanks to the last week’s frenzied activities of mine I got a chance to visit not less than 5 large book stores in two cities and was pleasantly surprised to find this Opal Mehta book being prominently displayed right at the entrance and at all the best seller’s stands. Now with all the hype surrounding the book, the six figure advance that the author managed at 17, the fact that the author is studying Literature at Harvard all added on to the cult factor and I found quite a few young enthusiastic book lovers hovering around to find out what it was all about.
I did my own “glance” through this book and did not find it too engaging and I gave it a pass not before overhearing a bunch of school girls blushing all out about the unconventional ways in which the main protagonist OPAL goes about getting a social life. That’s when I suddenly realized that the whole purpose of the book was to satiate the needs of nerds and geeks to find a social life to succeed in life which at the last count I imagine was the theme of about a zillion books published by middle aged house wives in Britain and America.
Now with all the accusations flying around of plagiarism and that there were 40 instances of Para-lifting from another work of the same kind by Megan McCafferty’s, the next book by Kaavya Viswanathan that apparently deals with Opal Mehta’s life in Harvard may never see the light of the day. It’s also being rumored that the present books may be pulled out and reprinted with the changes that the publishers are demanding Kaavya to make at the earliest. What I don’t understand is why someone would pay for plagiarized work?
Apparently in the Amazon best seller list, OPAL MEHTA book jumped more than 100 places after the scandal broke out and India is the country where most of the books are being sold! Kind of crazy that there is actually rush to buy a book selling rehashed version of a previously unknown book and that of a story told over a million times.
Also, Mrs. Megan McCafferty is said to be so depressed by this revelation that she is no longer eating nor sleeping. Now I am curious to find out whether he reason for her behavior is because she is genuinely sad at her work being copied or because someone found her work so interesting that they copied it to the ‘T’ and published it elsewhere.
Finally to what I don’t understand. If the publishers of both the author’s are one and the same, both belonging to the stable of Random House, then how the hell did they allow the work to be printed without scrutinizing the script first? In this era of copyrights and multi-million dollar law suits, how did the publishers make such a foolish mistake?
Kaavya is now on a sabbatical from Harvard and like her character she may never have a tale to tell of her experiences at Harvard. Is it warranted? Should her public work be held against her in her college education? Why can’t the publisher’s fight the legal battle’s and let the 19yr old get on with her life at Harvard? Give her a break man, she’s young and a star.