Saturday, April 29, 2006

No Book for You!

I just had to give an update on my previous post on Kaavya Viswanathan.

After Viswanathan maintained (even to Katie Couric) that she "unintentionally" (snort) plagiarized parts of Megan McCafferty's novels, Viswanathan's publisher pulled the Opal Mehta novel off bookstore shelves and websites. Now, according to the New York Times, the demand for Viswanathan's half-assed novel has gone up, and third-party buyers are selling it for as much as $89.95.

First of all, I want to congratulate Little, Brown for standing up for all that's right and good in the literary world and yanking the novel off shelves tout de suite. Instead of pussyfooting around the issue and doing a special book forward that explains parts were fabricated, as in the case of James Frey, or slapping a noncommittal sticker on a novel as a preemptive strike, a la my beloved Augusten Burroughs (whose new one I can't wait to read, by the way), Little, Brown is essentially saying "we won't stand for this kind of behavior" and getting out of this mess while the gettin' is good. Bravo to the decision-makers over there for coming to a swift one.

And as far as the $90 copy of Opal Mehta? Don't hold your breath for continued increased black-market sales. I'm predicting this current state of supply and demand will have the staying power equal to that of a 1999 Beanie Baby.


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