Jumi Bello, 30, was making the finishing touches on her debut novel “The Leaving,” scheduled to be released this summer, but after she disclosed to her publisher that she had expropriated material from other sources, the book was pulled. Bello then wrote a personal essay on the website Literary Hub explaining how her plagiarism came about. The novel was about a young black woman’s unplanned pregnancy. Bello wrote that she had never been pregnant and searched for descriptions of the experience on the web.
“I tell myself I’m just borrowing and changing the language,” Bello wrote in the essay, which was supposed to be a cautionary tale for other writers who might rationalize plagiarism. “I tell myself I will rewrite these parts later during the editorial phase. I will make this story mine again.”
After the essay was published, writers and publications such as Gawker, pointed out that Bello’s essay about plagiarism also had unethically used the writings of others without attribution. Yes, her essay about plagiarism was plagiarized.
Literary Hub removed the essay and 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.” But wait! There’s more! She plagiarized from a website about plagiarism! Jonathan Bailey, who writes the website Plagiarism Today, wrote that Bello’s essay “included poor paraphrasing without attribution of an article that I wrote over a decade ago.”
What an idiot.
And she can quote me.
Pointer and Facts: New York Times.