Ann Brashares Flaunts Her Ill-Gotten Gains

Emily Gould · 01/04/07 12:30PM

We were ogling the photos of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants author Ann Brashares's impeccably renovated four-story carriage house in today's Home section, which filled us with the same predictable envy and incredulity we feel every time anyone suggests that writing can eventually lead to fiscal solvency. However did Anne come up with the idea for the bestselling series that eventually netted her a 25X25 kitchen, we wondered? We seemed to remember hearing something about that once. Let's see — according to the Times,

Laura Albert's Tits Nicer Than JT Leroy's

Emily Gould · 12/19/06 10:30AM

Fake writer Laura Albert, who wrote the books originally attributed to a male truck-stop hooker named JT Leroy, continues to light the fire of our righteous indignation. Albert, you'll recall, is unrepentant, using the whole 'it was a literary hoax, I'm playing with notions of gender and identity' thing as a copout. She also 'didn't do it for the money,' she claims in this recent interview, though there must be a considerable amount involved, considering that two of Leroy novels have had their film rights optioned. But perhaps most infuriatingly, Albert seems to completely misunderstand the process by which profile subjects are selected to be on the cover of Vanity Fair. Here, she's talking about how thrilled she's been to be featured on the cover of the Paris Review:

James Frey Now Plagiarizing John Mellencamp

Emily Gould · 12/13/06 02:10PM

Well, the o.g. Fake Writer seems to have learned his lesson about lifting whole sentences verbatim. But the latest novel excerpt up on Big Jim's website (by the way, he's lying about the 'Big,' too, obviously) certainly owes a debt to Farm Aiding singer/songwriter/actor John Cougar Mellencamp. See for yourself:

Does Google Book Search Mean Retiring 'Fake Writer Day' Tag?

Emily Gould · 11/21/06 04:55PM

Today, Slate investigates the possibility that Google Book Search means the end of plagiarism as we know it (no!), for the simple reason that it makes it possible to find out, with a mere button-click, whether a sentence appears in more than one book. We'll be sad to see plagiarism go — it was very, very fun while it lasted. We do gleefully anticipate some fun gotcha moments as the new technology becomes more widespread, though. In fact, just for kicks, we plugged a favorite recent phrase into Google Book Search:

IvyWise founder Katherine Cohen Still Credible. Not!

Emily Gould · 11/20/06 04:55PM

Who cares about anything besides real estate, IVF, and getting into prestigious exclusive colleges? Not New York, clearly. This week's inferiority-complex inducer is an article about the insane impossibility of getting into college, wherein crazily overqualified applicants are evaluated, then dismissed ("a red flag is the Ping Pong club" "it still puts him in the right range for a minority, socioeconomically disadvantaged student") by an expert: "Katherine Cohen, CEO and founder of IvyWise, a school-admissions consulting company."

The Vengeful Ghost of Drunk James Frey Haunts Employees Only

Emily Gould · 11/10/06 11:10AM

The Transom reports that, when James Frey overheard a group of acquaintances talking smack about him at Employees Only, he got so incensed that be "broke his highball glass in at least a dozen pieces"[haha]. The intimation that he'd been drinking is nice, sure. But we're still obsessing a little about the item's opening lines:
"Be careful how many times you say "James Frey" in public. He could appear right behind you."
Hold on, we're trying it right now. James Frey James Frey James Frey. Huh, didn't work. Excuse us while we go try it thirteen times in front of the bathroom mirror by candlelight.

Is James Frey The Candyman? [NYO]
Earlier: You're Going to Love The Way You Look — He Kinda Guarantees It

Kaavya Viswanathan Continues To Rehabilitate Image

Emily Gould · 11/01/06 04:05PM

For the two of you who still care what America's favorite YA author copykitten has been up to lately, this video finds her on the Dark Continent. Watch for the scenic shots of wildlife, the glamor shot of a windswept Kaavya listening to her ipod and looking bored in a Jeep, and the money shot of the text that asks if we're "tired of seeing the same images again and again."
Ahh, that's our Kaavya. Ever questing for originality.

Down By the Banks of the River Charles: Lovers, Fuggers, Thieves, Plagiarists

abalk2 · 10/30/06 01:50PM

At left, a cartoon published on October 12 by Newday's Walt Handelsman; at right, a cartoon published in the Harvard Crimson by Kathleen E. Breeden on October 25. As the Crimson reports, there's a "noticeable similarity" between the two. "Further review of other cartoons drawn by Breeden has yielded three other examples of similarities among her work and editorial cartoons featured on Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index, a Web site that lists and organizes editorial cartoons from around the world." This incident follows the suspension of a column by the Crimson'sVictoria B. Ilyinsky after Ilyinsky was found to have ripped off material from Slate. There's an easy Kaavya Viswanathan joke here, but at least Kaavya plagiarized from an actual book; stealing stuff from the Internet seems so much more lazy. What are the odds that both these girls' claimed to "build large suspension bridges in my yard" in their admission essays?

Fake Writer Lectures Future Lawyers on Art and Artifice

abalk2 · 10/19/06 04:10PM

Life is way to short, particularly ours, but Idolator points you to a lecture given at Harvard School of Law by wunderkind fabulizer Nick Sylvester. We didn't even get as far through the video as the Idolators did, but, you know, we are sort of honored to be part of his personal Power Point presentation.

Fake Writer's Real Writing Shows Plagiarism Not Necessarily a Bad Idea

abalk2 · 10/11/06 08:20AM

The kids at IvyGate take a break from their non-stop Aleksey D. Vayner coverage to note the return to print of ur-Vayner Kaavya Viswanathan. Kaavya's got a profile of 85 Broads founder Janet Hanson in a magazine put out by Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business. The piece is pretty flat, but, as the Gaters note, there is a particular poignance to the passage below:

Remainders: Jessica Lets Herself Go

Jessica · 10/05/06 06:10PM

• NB to Jessica Simpson: Might we suggest a new top coat? Some sort of Sally Hansen extra-life type product? [OAN]
• No plans tonight? Go check out Observer founder and editorial director Arthur Carter's sculpture show, and see what's so much more important than his little peach paper. Bring a recorder, and make sure you get tape of Jared Kushner dissing the art. [Salander]
• Oh, this is rich: Are Mark Foley and Eve Ensler all that different? You challenge us so, David Brooks. [TimesSelect]
• Speaking of Foley: JUST KIDDING! IT WAS ALL A BIG JOKE! [Wonkette]
• Actress Sharon Stone, best known for her role in Police Academy 4, is rumored to be canoodling with Jared Leto. We're not sure we buy it, but the mental picture is amusing enough. [LSE]
• Won't someone help Julia Allison have a threesome? If only so she can stop using her Silver Bullet vibrator? [Glamour]
Vanity Fair defies rumor and, instead of Borat, puts George Clooney on the cover. To be fair, they're both equally ridiculous characters. [FishbowlNY]
• We know that "Britney Spears Loses Custody of Child to 'In Touch' Magazine" is an Onion headline, but we fail to see the parody. [The Onion]

James Frey and Oprah: Misty Water-Colored Memories

Jessica · 09/28/06 02:40PM

The paper chasers over at The Smoking Gun are venturing into the wild world of print with The Dog Dialed 911: A Decade of the World's Most Dogged Investigative Reporting, a book of random and ridiculous documents organized into lists ("4 Early Eminem Hits," "11 Things a Teacher Should Never Say to His Students"). This image appears under the list "1 Sentiment No Longer Held," with the following explanation:

James Frey's First Interview: FTBSITT Reflect

Jessica · 09/20/06 11:30AM

Somehow, in our ADD-inflicted carelessness, we missed this Guardian interview with Fake Writer James Frey; it's the disgraced memoirist's first interview since Oprah gave him a national flogging back in January. Frey says quite a bit but, as it's coming from an admitted liar, it's hard to know what to believe. Rather than ask that you try to parse the interview on your own, we've gone ahead and provided our translation services:

Real Lee Siegel As Pompous, Insufferable As Fake Lee Siegel

abalk2 · 09/18/06 11:10AM

Disgraced Internet cowboy Lee Siegel, philosophizes on the motives of anonymous internet critics: "At least for those who practice incessant character assassination, which represents a good portion of the blogosphere, they vent out of the pain of being unacknowledged." It's a pain Siegel should know well, having himself toiled in the fields of obscurity. But it's a learning process: "Obscurity is the new poverty. People don't seem able to bear being unknown. But obscurity and struggle are the artists' Harvard and Yale."

James Frey Can Still Buy Wife's Love, Loyalty

Jessica · 09/18/06 09:10AM

Fake writer James Frey has been slowly reintroducing himself into society, emerging from the Tribeca loft he shares with his wife and daughter to attend a select few chic events hosted by artists or VH1. As part of the progression of returning to some semblance of public life, Frey allowed his wife, Maya, to drag him to the front row of Cynthia Rowley's show last Thursday, where the two were subjected to the rote "who are you wearing?" drill, courtesy of the Observer. Frey himself was decked in Lacoste, Hanes, J. Crew, and Adidas. Modestly attired, more or less (save for his street-cred friendly Tiffany earrings). The cheerful Mrs. Frey, however, was more upscale, sporting Prada and Hermes. Obviously, a marriage fractured by the tension of widespread disgrace and embarrassment isn't anything a generous shopping allowance can't fix.