To the Editor:
We, as writers and friends of literature, wish to register our concern in regard to “Author Fights Plagiarism Charges by Critic” (news article, Oct. 8). The Times, by giving a large platform to a small offense, has tainted the reputation of this accomplished editor, poet and memoirist.
It is important for your readers to understand that the charges brought against Jill Bialosky by the critic William Logan refer to a handful of commonly known biographical facts gleaned from outside sources. Given the trust that is assumed between a writer and her readers, this mishandling is not something to shrug off. Yet it bears saying that Ms. Bialosky’s inadvertent repetition of biographical boilerplate was not an egregious theft intentionally performed.
All 72 of us stand with Ms. Bialosky and her statement of apology. She is working with the publisher on adjustments to the text, which will appear in future editions of the book. It would be a terrible disservice to Ms. Bialosky and to your readers if the article kept people from appreciating her substantial contributions to American letters.
KIMIKO HAHN, DAVID BAKER
The writers are authors whose works have been edited by Jill Bialosky. The letter had 70 other signers, including Jennifer Egan, Louise Glück, Amy Hempel, Claire Messud, Robert Pinsky and Roxanne Robinson.