Jessica Seinfeld: The New James Frey? Or Kaavya Viswanathan?

Illustration for article titled Jessica Seinfeld: The New James Frey? Or Kaavya Viswanathan?

More trouble in Oprah-author land! The talk show host's new bestselling BFF, Jessica Seinfeld, is being questioned over her guru guide on healthy eating for kids,Deceptively Delicious. Today's New York Times and Wall Street Journal report that Ms. Seinfeld's book bears an uncanny resemblance to a cookbook already out on the market, The Sneaky Chef. Sneaky Chef author Missy Chase Lapine, who initially struggled to find a publisher for her book (published this past April), tells the Times that she's "uncomfortable [that] those unusual combinations that I thought would brand me as a lunatic showed up [in Seinfeld's book], too." Adds her publisher, Perseus' David Steinberger: "We agree that the books appear to be very similar in many ways."

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In addition to similarities between the recipes and cover treatments for both books, the Times reports that that Ms. Seinfeld's publisher, Collins, rejected Ms. Lapine's book proposal because it was "too similar" to another book on its list but agreed to meet with Seinfeld when she submitted her proposal two weeks later "because of her name and her agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh of William Morris" (Walsh, as you may remember, was the onetime agent of notorious coed cribber Kaavya Viswanathan):

Ms. Walsh described Ms. Seinfeld as "smart, stunning, and infinitely promotable" in a cover letter.

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Ah, yes, the old "basically in order to be successful at anything at all you need to be hot" saw! It's a sad world, and we feel for Ms. Lapine. But seriously, if your genius book idea is about concealing wholesome, substantial nourishment behind the mask of "junk food," can you really be mad when the junk food wins?.

How to Get Junior to Eat His Veggies Turns Out To Be (Too) Common Knowledge [NY Times]

How Another Seinfeld Scored Her Own Big Hit [WSJ]

Earlier:Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious: Kinda Deceptive, Not So Delicious

Want A Better Job? Stop Working Right Now And Get Your Nails Did

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DISCUSSION

dusty-in-the-wind-old
Dusty in the Wind

Jessica, you are gifted. Gifted with an absence of shame and all-consuming drive to marry well, then turn around and marry much better. You are, in that category of being gifted, world class.

Some might say, world class whore. But who cares about the some. You certainly don't.

Your sense of worth is about what you have acquired, and your sense of purpose is to make a few babies and look good standing on the mantle of your matrimonial acquisition.

In other words, you shouldn't try to do things that threaten to stray beyond that realm. You know, like "thinking," or "writing," or "speaking."

Such endeavors will only, as you are now experiencing, bring unpleasant, problematic complications. Such endeavors may also bring some money, but money is one thing your husband does not need nor want from you. Trust me.

In seeking triumph on the public stage as an "author", you risk straying from, and perhaps even endangering, the only triumph you were made to accomplish. Take a snake, for example. A snake is made to slither around real fast and eat large things. It's an efficient eating machine. You were made to nab rich Jewish guys, play with their balls, pop out a few rug rats, maintain your appearance, shop, and smile for the camera. You wouldn't ask a snake to type, right? Right.

So don't try making books, baby.

It's really very simple. After all, if you persist in being too much of a high-profile punchline, Jerry will begin taking a closer look at the nanny. (Hey, Bill Cosby isn't merely his hero for the jokes.)

After all, he didn't want you doing the book in the first place. He went along to make you happy. He wants you to he happy to a point, to maintain basic ball-playing enthusiasm.

But now you're now dangling way, way out there, doll face... moving past that point.

Careful.