Never let anyone tell you a period of global anxiety isn’t a great time to pick a fight over plagiarism.
After author Anne Giwa-Amu recently put a video on YouTube accusing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie of plagiarizing her 1996 novel Sade for Adichie’s 2006 hit Half of a Yellow Sun, the agency that represents Adichie had some words for Ms. Giwa-Amu.
In her video, Giwa-Amu claims that Chinua Achebe (yes, the great author of Things Fall Apart) gave Adichie a copy of Sade, which she then supposedly ripped off. Giwa-Amu challenged Adichie to prove her innocence by “publishing her email correspondence with Chinua Achebe, publishing the original manuscript she sent to the editors and by publishing the editors’ reviews.”
It didn’t take long for the Wylie Agency, which represents Adichie, to publish a statement of their own in response.
According to the statement, Giwa-Amu previously presented a legal case against Adichie in 2016, but after a third-party reader looked over both novels, the reader concluded “that there was absolutely no basis for Giwa-Amu’s claim and advised that the claim should not be pursued.”
Giwa-Amu persisted, however, and her case was officially struck down by a court last month. The court didn’t much appreciate Giwa-Amu wasting their time and ordered her to pay a hefty £14,250 to Adichie and her publisher for all the trouble. She was also instructed to pay Adichie’s legal fees.
Apparently she has yet to cough the money up.
Having incurred the mighty wrath of the Wylie Agency for making a “delusional claim,” the agency closed their statement by saying Giwa-Amu’s claims were “libelous and constitute a harassment to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.” They are now pursuing legal action against Giwa-Amu.