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Words For The Taking: The Hunt For A Plagiarist.

Bowers, Neal.

25 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0393040070 / ISBN 13: 9780393040074
Published by W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 1997
Used Condition: Good Hardcover
From Ad Infinitum Books (Mount Vernon, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

143 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. Good condition. CRIME. Following the discovery of a single stolen poem, Neal Bowers, poet and professor of English at Iowa State, finds alarming evidence of repeated thefts of two of his poems. Other poets are also found to hav been plagiarized, but none morethan once. Bewildered to be the "victim of choice" as instances of theft mount - "a privilege akin to having a tapeworm," as he says in his preface - Bowers feels his own creativity stifled. Determined to hold the plagiarist accountable, Bowers, with the help of his wife, is drawn into a bizarr game of catch-me-if-you-can. Further pseudonyms for the plagiarist come to light, and a distinctly unsavory past is uncovered. (Key Words: Plagiarism, Neal Bowers, Detective Stories, Crime, Authorship, Poetry, David Sumner). Bookseller Inventory # 48338X1

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Words For The Taking: The Hunt For A ...

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, New York

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: First Printing..

Book Type: book

About this title


A poet and English professor describes his discovery that several of his poems had been stolen and discusses his frustrating search for the elusive plagiarist responsible for the thefts, its effect on his life, and the results of his quest.


In Words for the Taking author Neal Bowers takes the reader on an unusual hunt for a literary stalker. A poet and teacher by profession, Bowers became a detective out of necessity when he discovered one of his poems had been plagiarized and repeatedly published by someone calling himself David Sumner. Later, he learned Sumner had stolen more of his work and the poems of other writers as well. Here he describes his almost surreal search for the plagiarist and its surprising aftermath.

For Neal Bowers, David Sumner--a.k.a. David Jones--became an almost mythic adversary, and Bowers's quest for justice a kind of heroic quest. The character of the plagiarist is at the heart of this story: who was "David Sumner" and why did he steal another man's words? The answers to these questions prove as troubling as they are startling.

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