Author’s plagiarism essay removed after more plagiarism discovered

NEW YORK (AP) — An online essay by an author explaining why she used plagiarized material in a novel released earlier this…

NEW YORK (AP) — An author’s online essay about why she used plagiarized material in a novel released earlier this year has itself been removed after publishers discovered she had again recovered material.

“I plagiarized parts of my first novel by Jumi Bello. Here’s why” briefly appeared on https://lithub.com on Monday. Bello’s debut novel, “The Leaving,” was slated for release in July, but was canceled in February by Riverhead Books.

“Earlier this morning, Lit Hub published a very personal essay by Jumi Bello about her experience writing a first novel, her struggles with serious mental illness, the pressures a young writer can feel to publish, and her own acts of plagiarism”, the publication announced. “Due to inconsistencies in the story and, most importantly, another incident of plagiarism in the published article, we have decided to withdraw the essay.”

Lit Hub editor Jonny Diamond said on Monday that the plagiarized material related to passages about the history of plagiarism; several commenters on social media had found similarities between Bello’s writing and the work of various previous sources. Bello did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In her essay, Bello talks about her determination to finish her novel, about a young black woman who becomes pregnant. She remembers wanting to add “literary descriptions” of pregnancy, which she had not experienced, and looking for outside material.

“I tell myself that I am only borrowing and changing the language. I tell myself that I will rewrite these parts later during the editorial phase. I will make this story mine again,” she wrote.

“I would have said anything to myself at that time. I fell asleep at 8 a.m. because of my tense nerves and woke up at midnight. I stay up all night, writing as the days go by. I just want to push through, to a place where I can sleep again. Thinking back to that moment, I ignored my instincts. I ignored the voice inside that said softly, this is wrong. bad bad.

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