A novelist whose work was pulled for allegations of plagiarism had an essay about her plagiarism taken offline because its contents were also plagiarized.
Novelist Jumi Bello published an essay on literature website LitHub on Monday titled "I Plagiarized Parts of My Debut Novel. Here’s Why," in which she elaborated on her claims. Several individuals on social media noted that the woman's essay about her plagiarism was also plagiarized, leading the website to pull the essay.
"Earlier this morning, LitHub published a very personal essay by Jumi Bello about her experience writing a debut novel, her struggles with severe mental illness, the self-imposed pressures a young writer can feel to publish, and her own acts of plagiarism," the website said in a statement. "Because of inconsistencies in the story and, crucially, a further incident of plagiarism in the published piece, we decided to pull the essay."
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Bello was the author of The Leaving, a novel about a black woman experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and the emotional struggles involved. The book was scheduled to release in July but was pulled in February after evidence of plagiarism was found in the manuscript, according to PublishersLunch. The author claimed she came clean to her editors about her plagiarism, arguing she copied other writers in an attempt to reflect a woman's experience with pregnancy because she had not been pregnant before the book's publishing.
The author attempted to attribute the plagiarism indirectly to a history of mental illness and deadline pressures. Bello said she had to stay in a psychiatric ward and had an allergic reaction to an antidepressant, which may have affected her conduct.
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Several social media accounts soon discovered that Bello's essay included sections lifted from other texts on the subject of plagiarism. The piece took a significant portion from a 2011 article published in Plagiarism Today titled "The World's First 'Plagiarism' Case," according to Gawker.
Bello did not respond to requests for comment from the Washington Examiner.