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Publisher cancels Kaavya's book deal

Publisher Little, Brown and Company has cancelled the two-book deal with the Harvard sophomore.

india Updated: May 03, 2006 11:05 IST

A Harvard University student's novel has been permanently withdrawn and her two-book deal cancelled, publisher Little, Brown and Company have announced, as allegations of literary borrowing proliferated against Kaavya Viswanathan's How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life.

"Little, Brown and Company will not be publishing a revised edition of How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life by Kaavya Viswanathan, nor will we publish the second book under contract," Michael Pietsch, Little Brown's senior vice president and publisher, announced on Tuesday.

Little, Brown, which had withdrawn the book last week, declined further comment.

The decision caps a stunning downfall for the 19-year-old Viswanathan, a Harvard sophomore with a reported six-figure book deal whose novel came out in March to widespread attention.

Viswanathan, who was just 17 when she signed the deal, did not immediately return calls for comment on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, The Record of Bergen County said that it will review the news articles Viswanathan wrote for the 180,000-circulation daily paper in northern New Jersey while an intern in 2003 and 2004.

Editor Frank Scandale said The Record, which has written several of its own articles about the plagiarism allegations, will hire a service to vet the dozen or so light features she wrote while one of about 18 interns at the paper.

Scandale recalled Viswanathan as having strong writing skills for a high schooler, and as an upbeat, affable young woman.