Kaavya Speaks: 'I Sincerely Apologize'

Sophomore says similarities to other author's work were 'unintentional errors'

Kaavya Viswanathan '08 has released the following statement through her publisher, Little, Brown and Company:

"When I was in high school, I read and loved two wonderful novels by Megan McCafferty, 'Sloppy Firsts' and 'Second Helpings,' which spoke to me in a way few other books did. Recently, I was very surprised and upset to learn that there are similarities between some passages in my novel, 'How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life,' and passages in these books.

"While the central stories of my book and hers are completely different, I wasn't aware of how much I may have internalized Ms. McCafferty's words. I am a huge fan of her work and can honestly say that any phrasing similarities between her works and mine were completely unintentional and unconscious. My publisher and I plan to revise my novel for future printings to eliminate any inappropriate similarities.

"I sincerely apologize to Megan McCafferty and to any who feel they have been misled by these unintentional errors on my part."

Michael Pietsch, the senior vice president and publisher of Little, Brown, has released the following statement as well:

"Little, Brown and Company received a letter from Random House this morning, pointing out several passages in Kaavya Viswanathan's novel HOW OPAL MEHTA GOT KISSED, GOT WILD, and GOT A LIFE that they deem similar to passages in Megan McCafferty's novels SLOPPY FIRSTS and SECOND HELPINGS. We consider this a serious matter and we are investigating it immediately.

"Kaavya Viswanathan is a decent, serious, and incredibly hard-working writer and student, and I am confident that we will learn that any similarities in phrasings were unintentional."