The Spectacle Blog

Dates of Copywrong

By on 4.27.06 | 7:00PM

Blundering bookwriters are having a good -- that is, terrible -- year. Joining the list of the sorrowful that includes failed autobiographer James Frey and the men who would sue Dan Brown, for writing about something they did too, is young Harvardian Kaavya Viswanathan. She takes a nice picture, and pictures never lie. But how many pictures worth of words did she lift unconsciously from two of her favorite books? Enough for a battle to loom; enough to establish a sad pattern of laziness and mindless reprocessing in the ding-dong world of big publishers. Line 'em up and whack away -- they won't get the message without taking their lumps.

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