Former Facebook employee says Dave Eggers copied her memoir in his new novel
Former Facebook employee Kate Losse says Eggers used her personal story as the narrative for his novel 'The Circle.'
Accusations that Dave Eggers “ripped off” the memoir of a former Facebook employee in his new novel, “The Circle,” are raising difficult questions about plagiarism and gender bias in the publishing world.Skip to next paragraph
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Kate Losse, author of “The Boy Kings,” in which Losse dishes on life inside Facebook, has accused Eggers of “rewrit[ing] my book as his own novel” in a blog post on medium.com.
“From all appearances, it is an unnervingly similar book, and I wrote it first (and I imagine mine is more authentic and better written, because I actually lived and worked in this world and am also a good writer),” she writes. “The difference is that Eggers is a famous man and I am not.”
Losse has admitted that she has not read Eggers’ book (excerpted here in the New York Times), but says that “if you look at the description/plot arc/main character name it is disturbingly similar.”
Both Losse’s memoir and Eggers’ novel examine the life of a woman working her way up through a tech company, Facebook in Losse’s case and a fictional company called The Circle in Eggers’.
But perhaps more interesting than Losse’s claim itself is the issue it raises about plagiarism and gender bias in the publishing world.
Plagiarism and fraud charges are nearly as old as literature itself (see: Jonah Lehrer, James Frey, even Jane Goodall and Greg Mortenson), which brings us to wonder at what point is it considered “inspiration,” and when does it cross the line into outright stealing, plagiarism, or fraud?