All this piffle about plagiarism (see posts below by colleagues Gail Caldwell and David Mehegan about writer Ian McEwan) reminds me of a story Richard Hoffman tells about what he went through years ago to satisfy the lawyers for Harcourt Brace, publisher of his memoir, "Half the House.'' A searing account of being sexually assaulted by a Little League coach, it sent the man to prison.
The lawyers insisted Hoffman have every member of his family sign a release. When he approached his aunt, then in her 80s, she said, "Sue you? If I don't like what you wrote about me, I can close the book.''