By October 22, 2007 7 Comments Read More →

Did I mention that her last name is Seinfeld?

This spat isn’t nearly as exciting as some, but I feel compelled to mention it anyway: Oprah Winfrey plugs Jerry Seinfeld’s wife Jessica’s cookbook. Missy Chase Lapine says she wrote it first. From USA Today (“Cookbook author says Seinfeld book ‘Deceptively’ similar,” by Deirdre Donahue):

Moreover, she adds, “I’m concerned and troubled that Oprah credited and applauded someone else for a technique that was out there six months earlier.”

Six months? In the cookbook biz, that must be an eternity. Lapine claims she submitted the book to HarperCollins (and Oprah, for that matter), who turned her down but published Seinfeld’s similar selections. But much of the complaint seems to be centered around the fact that Seinfeld received preferential treatment because of her famous name, which is Seinfeld.

Wait a minute–someone received extra publicity because they’re sleeping with a famous person? What is this, Russia?

I mean: this isn’t Russia!

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix.

7 Comments on "Did I mention that her last name is Seinfeld?"

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  1. gobajagirl@hotmail.com' Sue says:

    THIS IS A HUGE DEAL!

    Point #1 – Ms. Lapine showed her book to HarperCollins (Ms. Seinfeld’s publisher) 6 months before Ms. Seinfeld. Ms. Lapine’s publisher had already made Ms. Seinfeld’s publisher change the book cover (which easily resembled Ms. Lapine’s book cover).

    Point #2 – Ms. Seinfeld has the same agent from the William Morris Agency as the Harvard sophomore student who recently lost her book contract for copying another’s novel.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12594078/

    Coincidence? You be the judge!

  2. Keir says:

    I think it’s a stretch to blame the agent. Do you really think Walsh went over Kaavya Viswanathan’s manuscript and inserted select passages from Megan McCafferty’s books?

    It’s definitely possible that Lapine got the short end of the whisk, but unless someone produces damning e-mails or another modern-day smoking gun, these things are very difficult to prove conclusively. Fortunately for Lapine, her book has enjoyed some substantial success on its own merits.

  3. gobajagirl@hotmail.com' Sue says:

    Yeh, Keir, right…TWO books which are:

    both cookbooks
    shown to the same publisher
    in the same year
    with the same UNIQUE recipes
    on the same UNIQUE cooking concept
    by authors who live in the same city
    with nearly IDENTICAL book covers
    both pitched to OPRAH

    IS JUST A COINCIDENCE. No way, I smell a rat!

  4. Keir says:

    I never said there’s no rat. I just said that smelling the rat doesn’t necessarily mean that the rat will be found.

    And, should the corpse of the rat be produced, I will be very surprised if it resembles the agent.

  5. Keir says:

    More food for thought from Galleycat.

  6. gobajagirl@hotmail.com' Tara says:

    Ms. Lapine is very fortunate to have been entwined in the book problem because now she’ll make so much more money from the media exposure….that’s the logic of many posters. Yeh, she’ll even be more happy when her greedy lawyers start deposing the Seinfeld’s entire HarperCollins book prep team in 3-4 weeks to see who leaked Ms. Lapine’s manuscript. You see, Ms. Lapine didn’t use an agent when she first presented the her manuscript to HarperCollins so the book staff could possibly have just said, ” Heh, look here, a free manuscript to steal. Nobody will ever know.”

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