One little, two little, three little Indians…

Tanuja Desai Hidier explains what it feels like to be at the receiving end of plagiarism; she says Kaavya V stole about 24 separate passages of Opal Mehta from her book, Born Confused: (Link courtesy Zigzackly–thanks, Pete.)

It was a surreal experience for me, looking at these and the other parallel parts side by side. The feeling was almost as if someone had broken into your home-and in some ways this is what literally had happened, considering so much of Born Confused is drawn from my life (and home): The alcohol cabinet in my non-drinking household in small town Massachusetts was now in Opal’s, the details of my family’s two dinnertimes because of all the years of working late into the night by my father, too; my mother’s food, from her mother’s recipes, transplanted to Opal’s table, her slinky black outfit too; my ecstatic and eye-opening discovery of Jackson Heights Queens during an enthralled and emotional day there many years ago, suddenly turned to Edison New Jersey.
Was Ms Viswanathan not confident enough in her own background to rely on it? Was Alloy not confident enough in it and in her? Did either or both think you could just substitute one kind of Indian for another?

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