Alleged plagiarism sparks literary battle

Jan. 10, 2010 at 2:44 PM

PARIS, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- French novelist Camille Laurens alleges fellow author Marie Darrieussecq committed "psychological plagiarism" with her 2007 book "Tom is Dead."

The Sunday Times of London said Laurens and Darrieussecq are locked in a bitter dispute over Laurens' insistence that "Tom" is essentially a retelling of her tragic loss of a newborn child she detailed in her 1995 work "Philippe"

"Reading 'Tom Is Dead,'" Laurens said in a literary review, "I had the feeling that it had been written in my bedroom, that she (Darrieussecq) had sat on my chair, lain in my bed."

Darrieussecq, 40, denied the allegation, saying an author can write a story about an incident without having experienced such an incident firsthand.

The literary conflict intensified last week when Darrieussecq released a treatise on plagiarism in apparent response to the allegations.

The Sunday Times said Laurens also unveiled a new book last week and her new work follows a novelist who accuses a fellow author of plagiarism, only to be dropped by her publisher.

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