Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Books, Book Wars and Feuding Sisters

I'm not sure whether to call this an "amusing" story or a "sad" one. Either way, the article is not what we normally see from the book world. Sure, there have always been feuding authors and there always will be. Some of the biggest names from the last two centuries fought with their peers over which of them was the more important writer of the day. Think Vidal vs. Capote, Theroux vs. Naipaul, Updike vs. Wolfe, Lewis vs. Dreiser, Twain vs. Harte, Mailer vs. Everyone, Hemmingway vs. Stein, etc. And that's just the tip of the literary iceberg when it comes to dueling authors.

(Tatiana Boncompagni shown in first photo)
(Both sisters - in happier days - shown in second photo)

But, at least up to now, I don't recall that any of the literary feuds involved siblings. According to Bloomberg.com, though, that is exactly what is happening with two sisters right now.
Tatiana Boncompagni, the author of ``Hedge Fund Wives,'' a novel to be published in May by News Corp.'s HarperCollins, sued her sister Natasha over claims she copied parts of the manuscript and sought copyright protection as its co-author.

Tatiana Boncompagni, 31, a freelance journalist whose first novel, ``Gilding Lily,'' was published by HarperCollins last month, accused her sister of secretly copying parts of ``Hedge Fund Wives'' this year during family visits in New York and Milwaukee.

Natasha Boncompagni, 33, denied the claims in the copyright- infringement complaint, filed today in federal court in Manhattan. She said she co-wrote the novel and that she would have sued Tatiana if her sister hadn't beaten her to court.
Sounds like a family in which if "you snooze, you lose," one in which keeping a lawyer on retainer at all times is a must. Frankly, the book sounds like chick lit on steroids from its description in the Bloomberg article, one that I have no interest in, so I suppose I'll settle on "amusing" rather than "sad" as a description of the story's tone.


  1. Sisters A.S. Byatt and Margaret Drabble are no fans of one another either, although I'm not sure what caused their rift.

  2. Now that you mention it, dreamqueen, I do remember hearing about some trouble between the two - never did get the details, though. I'm starting to believe this kind of thing is more common than I thought.