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Likely Stories

A Booklist Blog
Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

Archive for the 'Plagiarism' Category

Fri, June 15th, 2007
Again with the Apatow
Posted by: Keir Graff

It turns out Judd Apatow has been accused of theft before. (Thanks, Ben Segedin!) I don’t know whether he’s an idea thief or not, but he does seem to come off better than his accusers. From a very old Harper’s (“Don’t have a cow, man“): I am sorry you are upset. I am not a […]


Fri, June 8th, 2007
Knocked Up a Knock-Off?
Posted by: Keir Graff

In an essay on Macleans (“Is that my baby on the screen?“), writer Rebecca Eckler explains her decision to sue film director Judd Apatow. She believes that his film, Knocked Up, appropriates material from her book, Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-be. Although I didn’t read the book and I haven’t seen the movie, the similarities […]


Wed, May 16th, 2007
Pretty Good Company, If You Ask Me
Posted by: Keir Graff

It’s good to know I’m not the only one who gets behind on the news. Sometimes even newspapers get behind on the news. The Washington Post (“Writing Under the Influence,” by Bob Thompson), using Jonathan Lethem’s March-published novel, You Don’t Love Me Yet, as a peg, is just now getting around to talking to him about his great essay […]


Wed, April 11th, 2007
You mean she doesn’t write those herself?
Posted by: Keir Graff

This doesn’t really have anything to do with books, but it is tangentially related to libraries, and it’s definitely related to plagiarism, so I’m going to go ahead. From the Associated Press (“CBS News Fires Producer for Plagiarism“): NEW YORK (AP) – A CBS News producer was fired and the network apologized after a Katie […]


Mon, March 26th, 2007
Borrowed Book Abuse?
Posted by: Keir Graff

Given that I once wrote an essay for the Chicago Tribune decrying the shelfworn condition in which a loaned paperback made its way back to me, I find myself almost gloating at the charges of undue similarity (no one’s saying “plagiarism” but the meaning is clear) levied at New York Times contributor and tome torturer […]


Tue, March 13th, 2007
Do we love him now?
Posted by: Keir Graff

After careful consideration of copyright issues, Jonathan Lethem puts his money — er, make that “intellectual property” — where his mouth is. Says he: On May 15th I’ll give away a free option on the film rights to my novel You Don’t Love Me Yet to a selected filmmaker. I don’t have any snarky remarks about […]


Fri, March 9th, 2007
Ex-Booklister Blurbed on Book Blogging
Posted by: Keir Graff

A shout-out to former Booklister John Green, quoted in Publishers Weekly (“To Blog or Not to Blog?” by Sue Corbett) on the subject of blogging authors: But just as e-mail and comments have replaced those sacks full of letters popular authors once got, the written blog is already considered very 2006. Green has already cast aside […]


Tue, February 13th, 2007
In Defense of Plagiarism
Posted by: Keir Graff

I spent my whole lunch hour reading Jonathan Lethem’s brilliant essay in Harper’s, “The Ecstasy of Influence.” Well worth a week’s worth of lunch hours, I daresay. (Do people still say “daresay”? Anyone mind if I do?) I copied out far too many quotes for fair use, and while the author wouldn’t mind if I […]


Mon, December 11th, 2006
Atoning for Appropriation
Posted by: Keir Graff

I recently wrote about plagiarism, then about the fuzzy line between homage and appropriation, two topics that seem to be in the air lately. Over at Slate, Jack Shafer weighs in on Ian McEwan’s appropriation of several passages from Lucilla Andrews’ No Time for Romance (1977) for his best-selling Atonement (2001). Shafer’s link-heavy piece is a great resource for […]


Tue, November 28th, 2006
For Those Who Care Where Evocative Expressions Were Stolen
Posted by: Keir Graff

I’m reading the new John Shannon novel right now, The Dark Streets. So far, so good–reading a favorite author can be comforting, like catching up with a friend you haven’t seen for awhile. The familiar prose is like a familiar voice. Anyway, on page 46: Jack Liffey had a bit of unmanageable mid-day time to […]





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