From Harvard's school newspaper, the crimson
Publisher Pulls ‘Opal Mehta’
Viswanathan’s London book tour cancelled; Little, Brown will revise ‘Opal’
Published On 4/28/2006 5:33:54 AM
By DAVID ZHOU
Crimson Staff Writer
Four days after Kaavya Viswanathan ’08 came under scrutiny for possible plagiarism in her novel “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life,” her publisher yesterday asked stores across the country to pull the book from their shelves.
In a statement yesterday, Little, Brown—the publisher that reportedly gave Viswanthan a two-book, $500,000 contract—asked stores to send back any unsold copies of “Opal Mehta.” The move came only a day after Michael Pietsch ’78, senior vice president and publisher of Little, Brown, told The New York Times that the publishing house would not withdraw current editions of the novel from bookshelves.
The sophomore’s novel contains numerous passages that are strikingly similar to those found in two books by Megan F. McCafferty, “Sloppy Firsts” and “Second Helpings.” In a statement on Monday, Viswanathan apologized to McCafferty and said that any similarities between the texts were “unintentional and unconscious.”
Viswanathan also said Monday that she will revise her book to take out all of the “inappropriate similarities” between “Opal Mehta” and McCafferty’s novels.
“We are pleased that this matter has been resolved in an appropriate and timely fashion,” said Tina Constable, vice president of Crown Publishers, which published McCafferty’s novels, in a statement last night.
McCafferty said yesterday in a statement that she is not seeking restitution “in any form.”
“In my career, I am, first and foremost, a writer,” McCafferty said. “So I look forward to getting back to work and moving on, and hope Ms. Viswanathan can too.”
At the Harvard Book Store last night, Ben Newcomer, a supervisor, said that he had not yet received any request from Little, Brown to withdraw and return the store’s copies of “Opal Mehta.”
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From the NYT:
April 28, 2006
Publisher to Recall Harvard Student's Novel
By MOTOKO RICH and DINITIA SMITH
Just a day after saying it would not withdraw "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life" from bookstores, Little, Brown, the publisher of the novel whose author, Kaavya Viswanathan, confessed to copying passages from another writer's books, said it would immediately recall all editions from store shelves.
In a statement issued last night, Michael Pietsch, senior vice president and publisher of Little, Brown, said that in an agreement with Ms. Viswanathan, the company had "sent a notice to retail and wholesale accounts asking them to stop selling copies of the book and to return unsold inventory to the publisher for full credit."
The publisher had announced an initial print run of 100,000 and had shipped 55,000 copies to stores. Ms. Viswanathan, 19, a Harvard sophomore, has been under scrutiny since The Harvard Crimson revealed on Sunday that she had plagiarized numerous passages from "Sloppy Firsts" and "Second Helpings," two novels by the young-adult writer Megan McCafferty.
"We are pleased that this matter has been resolved in an appropriate and timely fashion," said Crown Publishers, which publishes Ms. McCafferty's books, in a statement. "We are extremely proud of our author, Megan McCafferty, and her grace under pressure throughout this ordeal."
Ms. McCafferty, who until now has remained silent, also issued a statement last night.
"In the case of Kaavya Viswanathan's plagiarizing of my novels 'Sloppy Firsts' and 'Second Helpings,' " she said, "I wish to inform all of the parties involved that I am not seeking restitution in any form.
"The past few weeks have been very difficult, and I am most grateful to my readers for offering continual support, and for reminding me what Jessica Darling means to both them and to me. In my career, I am, first and foremost, a writer. So I look forward to getting back to work and moving on, and hope Ms. Viswanathan can, too." read the rest here.