Jonah Lehrer is facing questions about plagiarism once again — this time over his book proposal, which just netted him a book deal.
Simon & Schuster announced on Thursday that it will publish a book by Lehrer about love. The news comes nearly a year after the writer admitted that he had fabricated Bob Dylan quotes and resigned from the New Yorker as a result.
On Friday, Slate's Daniel Engber wondered whether Lehrer had plagiarized parts of his new book proposal, saying that he noted "places where Lehrer’s language seems caught in a cycle of reappropriation and re-use." The part that raised red flags, according to Engher, was one chapter that resembled an essay by the New Yorker's Adam Gopnik. Click over to Slate for the full piece.
"I don’t know if Lehrer really plagiarized the Gopnik essay, or if he modified his words to stop just short of doing so; it might be that both drew inspiration from a common source," Engber said.
That did not, however, stop Engber from criticizing the journalist. "Either way I’m convinced that Lehrer hasn’t changed his ways at all," he wrote.
News of Lehrer's new book deal on Thursday was somewhat surprising given his controversial history. He admitted last year to fabricating Bob Dylan quotes for his bestselling book "Imagine," which has since been taken off the shelves. Before that, he had also been called out for recycling his own work in the New Yorker.