November 13, 2005

Plagiarist e-mails...

I just received an interesting e-mail from Judith Kelly, the author of a "memoir" whose work was surprisingly similar to a work by Antonia White in 1933 and more recent work by Hilary Mantel. I'm a bit at a loss as to how to respond, so I thought I'd let my readers vote. Here's what she wrote:

Dear Sherman Dorn, I am replying to the blog on your website with the above title regarding my book, Rock Me Gently. Firstly, I would point out that I do not consider myself to be a writer as I have never written a book before and I do not intend to write another in the future. Therefore I am not what you describe as a "professional plagiarist". Nor have ever claimed to have a photographic memory - that is media hype. My story is based on the diary I kept as an eight year old child, which is still in my possession. Therefore my story is not a lie, but a true memoir. It took me seven years to write my book and my main aim was to give a voice to the two eleven year old friends of mine who died at the convent I attended as a child. Since the publication of my story,I have received numerous letters from people who experienced the same kind of abuse that I did as a child. All of them tell me that my story has helped them come to terms with what happened to them as children and for the first time in their lives, they are able to speak up about it. I learnt to tell my story by reading and imitating the masters and I am truly sorry for the mistakes I made throughout the years as I wrote it. I am not trying to excuse what I have done, but would only add that the similarities between my book and that of other authors is minimal in comparison to the amount of words contained in my story. Please would you read my book and judge for yourself. If you agree, I would like to send you a free copy Kind regards, Judith Kelly.
I should note that a comment on my earlier entry also defended Ms. Kelly. I guess she and her friends read blogs, or at least Google her name (or maybe check Technorati).

So, Gentle Readers, how should I respond?

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Posted in Random comments on November 13, 2005 6:34 AM |