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Little Brown Recalls Opal Novel in Face of Plagiarism Charges

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May 4-11, 2006 Edition

Little Brown Recalls

Opal Novel in Face

of Plagiarism Charges

NEW YORK, NY/4/29/06— The New York Times reported yesterday that Little Brown has decided to recall all editions of Kaavya Viswanathan’s debut book, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Into Harvard and Got a Life, after charges that more than 40 passages of the book were plagiarized from two novels by Megan McCafferty— Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings.

Ms. Viswanathan is a 19-year-old Harvard sophomore. The Harvard Crimson first broke the story of plagiarism.

Little Brown initially said it would not withdraw the Opal book from stores, but a few days later said it would recall the books from shelves. Little Brown Senior Vice President Michael Pietsch sent a notice to bookselling outlets offering to honor returns for full credit from the publisher.

About half of the first print run, which totaled 100,000 copies, had been shipped to retailers and wholesalers.

Megan McCafferty’s books were published by Crown/Random House, which said in a statement that it was extremely proud of McCafferty and “her grace under pressure through the ordeal.” McCafferty said she has no plans to seek compensation from Viswanathan.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, a movie deal underway for Opal at DreamWorks has apparently been dropped by the studio. Little Brown has not said whether it would publish Viswanathan’s second book which was part of a two-book deal with the publisher.