‘Opal’ gets dumped

For those who have been following this story and would like to know how it ends, which is apparently like this:

No Encore for ‘Opal’

by Rachel Deahl, PW Daily — 5/2/2006

Readers who have a copy of Kaavya Viswanathan’s How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life may want to hold on to it, as the book is now a collector’s item. In a statement issued from Little, Brown, the publisher finally stated that it will not be republishing a revised edition of the book. And Viswanathan’s second book in that two-title deal she signed with LB is dead too. The brief announcement came this afternoon from LB’s senior v-p and publisher, Michael Pietsch.

While LB would not comment on what this means for the highly publicized $500,000 advance the young author received, agent Robert Gottlieb told PW that it’s certainly possible the imprint could request that the money be returned. Explaining that every author signs a contract stipulating that the work they’re submitting is wholly their own, Gottlieb said in cases of plagiarism an author is always breaking this legal agreement.”Technically the author is in breach of her contract,” Gottlieb said, referring to Viswanathan’s plagiarism. “If the publisher decided that they wanted to demand the advance back, they could.”

Though Little, Brown could sue Viswanathan—for losses it has incurred in publicizing, printing and distributing the book—Gottlieb believes that this is unlikely. “I’ve always recommended to publishers that they avoid suing authors, because it just doesn’t look good,” he said. He then added: “We all do live in a community.” That we do, and it seems that Kaavya Viswanathan has officially been kicked out.

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