It's a Three-peat! Naomi Ragen is Deemed A 'Plagiarist'.
Boo you, plagiarists! Seriously, do you know how much of a bummer it is for me to get up in the morning and write about you dorks? Now I can't tackle the news on 50 Cent's book about diet and exercise.
Anyway, this has been a wonderful year for plagiarism, kids.
First, we had Q.R. Markham with his copy and paste job as seen in Assassin of Secrets. Next, we had Lenore Hart with her various acts of literary theft. These things tend to happen in threes though, so completing the trifecta is one Naomi Ragen, author of the book Sotah (St. Martin's Griffin). Ragen was one of Israel’s best-selling novelists until the Jerusalem District Court ruled yesterday that she was guilty of stealing from Sarah Shapiro, author of Growing Up With My Children.
Unfortunately, we don't have specific examples or passages unlike the Markham and Hart articles, but according to the district court, they found "textual resemblance and identicalness in the characters and segments. A significant part of the similarity is expressed in literal identicalness between the texts in both works."
Now here's my favorite part: the excuse.
Q.R. Markham played the 'addiction' card. Hart is in denial. Ragen, however, is going in a different direction with the 'it was a mistake' route and saying that some of Shapiro's text "got stuck in my head".
Shapiro's initial demand was NIS $100M (roughly $27M in USD), but the parties have a month to reach a suitable agreement regarding monetary compensation. As for Ragen, she's been unavailable for comment--probably trying to keep a low profile.
This third plagiarism should illustrate two things:
1.) Don't steal because you will get caught. There's always going to be someone out there looking for this kind of thing.
2.) I forgive you, James Frey. All you did was fictionalize yourself, and compared to this rash of theft, it pales in comparison.
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