Friday, May 05, 2006

Opal Mehta continued...and a thought on Sweet Valley High

Seeing how I posted on this a few days ago HERE, I thought I might as well update you all on the story - which now appears to have calmed down and concluded.

As I mentioned in my Wednesday post, in addition to Kaavya Viswanathan plagarising from Megan McCafferty, it was also found that she had pulled from the works of Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot and Salman Rushdie. Media Bistro has a bit more on the Sophie Kinsella angle HERE showing comparisons between Kinsella's Can you Keep a Secret, which I've read, and Opal Mehta.

For what Salmon Rushdie has to say about the affair, you can visit HERE.

Media Bistro then picked up another angle May 3 reporting on Harvard Independent's Jonathan Liu digging up "striking similarities" between OPAL MEHTA and Tanuja Desai Hidier's 2002 novel BORN CONFUSED which is another book about an Indian-American girl growing up in New Jersey.

Finally, a few different sites picked up on this part of the story - about the "convoluted authorial structure of Alloy books" which is the company behind Ms Viswanathan's now cancelled book. As someone who knows little to nothing about the publishing world, it was an interesting read. And I agree with Fuse 8 - greatly enjoyed the quote from Francine Pascal of Sweet Vally High fame at the end of the article:

But for all the tangled dealings in the Alloy book-packaging world, for a few, the more depressing concern is the content of some Alloy books. “Emotionally, there’s no progress,” said Francine Pascal, the creator of the Sweet Valley High series and an Alloy author. “It doesn’t touch on the classic values that Sweet Valley did—love, loyalty, friendship.”

In the spirit of full disclosure, I guess I should now admit to having been a huge Sweet Valley High fan when I was about 10-13. I have memories of trading the books back and forth with my friend Rhiannon and both of us having very strict rules about how to treat the books - ie: don't open them to far for fear of breaking the spines, don't bend the covers or pages. This was due to the fact that we were of course saving this very important and valuable collection for our future daughters. I also have a rather embarassing memory of being in Smithbooks with her fighting over which one of us was going to get to buy the elusive #32 The New Jessica (I won!)

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