Brad Vice Fans Shoot the Messenger

By Neal Comment

Last week’s allegations of further bad literary conduct on the part of short-story writer Brad Vice have ignited a series of furious complaints… against Robert Clark Young, the writer whose New York Press article accuses Vice of borrowing too much from more than one other writer in more than one story. Novelist Michelle Richmond has been particularly vocal in her condemnation of Young, with four posts in three days, including allegations that Young is sending anonymous emails to the members of Vice’s English department in an effort to get them to read the article. She also suggests in another post that the final portion of Young’s article, which attacks Vice for being good friends with lots of writers who take part in the Sewanee conference, may have something to do with Young having a bad workshop experience.

Also rising for the defense: Jason Sanford, the StorySouth editor who stuck up for Vice the first time around, who attempts to smear Young by pointing out that the Press is “a poorly regarded weekly newspaper” before arguing that what Young’s calling a second act of plagiarism really isn’t, and touching upon the whole “Robert Clark Young went to Sewanee and all he got was a lousy T-shirt” claim.

Not that everybody’s on Vice’s side; the Metafilter thrash doesn’t express much sympathy for him at all, at all. The story, of course, continues to play out…