Does EVENINGLAND by Michael Knight Infringe the Copyright of THE FISHER KING by Hayley Kelsey? Read on to Decide for Yourself (and see more at medium.com/hayleykelseyauthor) | History: | On October 3, 2012, I submitted a query letter, synopsis, and first 50 pages of my novel to Grove/Atlantic, which published alleged infringing title Eveningland: Stories. | On January 19, 2014, I submitted a query letter, synopsis, and first 50 pages of my novel to agent Warren Frazier at John Hawkins & Associates, who represents alleged infringer Michael Knight. | On March 7, 2017, Eveningland was published by Grove/Atlantic Publishers. | Does EVENINGLAND Have Striking and Substantial Similarities to THE FISHER KING? | ”The King of Dauphin Island” | Similar title: The Fisher King and “The King of Dauphin Island.” | Similar setting: In The Fisher King, environmentally-damaged Chesapeake Bay island. In “The King of Dauphin Island,” environmentally damaged Mobile Bay island. | In The Fisher King, watermen/islanders have lived and worked on island for generations, are dependent on seasonal tourism and sales of vacation homes. In “The King of Dauphin Island,” fishermen/islanders have lived and worked on island for generations, are dependent on seasonal tourism and sales of vacation homes. | In The Fisher King, successful commercial real estate developer wants to buy dying island and turn it into watermen’s theme park to rake in tourist dollars. Environmental activist Peter wants to reclaim fishery/island from environmental damage (sinking, eroding, extreme weather), and restore it to pristine state. In “The King of Dauphin Island,” successful commercial real estate developer Marcus Weems wants to buy dying island, reclaim it from development-caused environmental damage (shrinking, eroding, extreme weather), and restore it to pristine state. | In The Fisher King, watermen/islanders, including three brothers (Don, Peter, Sonny Kingsley) both welcome financial investment in island and are suspicious of outsiders, especially those introducing change. In “The King of Dauphin Island,” fishermen/islanders, including three brothers (Alton, Ike, Homer Tenpenny) both welcome financial investment in island and are suspicious of outsiders, especially those introducing change. | In The Fisher King, guilt-stricken for her role in brother’s death, Gail attempts to atone for it by protecting innocent Sonny. In “The King of Dauphin Island,” guilt-stricken for his inability to save wife from death, Weems attempts to atone for his rapacious career by restoring island. | In The Fisher King, bankruptcy court scene pits family members against each other as they decide the character’s financial fate and the fate of bay, island. In “The King of Dauphin Island,” courtroom scene pits family members against each other as it decides daughters’ financial fate and the fate of island. | In The Fisher King, Gail is finally able to come to terms with her brother’s death when she sees husband embodied in son. In “The King of Dauphin Island,” Weems is finally able to come to terms with his wife’s death when he sees her embodied in daughters and grandson. | The syntax is nearly identical: The Fisher King invokes island’s historical aspects in 17th century pirates, Confederacy, Civl War, island’s first name: Rogue’s Reach. Sonny is embarrassed by sight of woman nursing baby. “The King of Dauphin Island” invokes island’s historical aspects in 17th century privateers, Confederacy, Civl War, island first named Massacre island. Weems is embarrassed by sight of daughter nursing baby. | The syntax is identical: In The Fisher King, Gail sees the “moneymen.” King “moves money around.” There’s gossip about an “office park.” King is proud to bequeath bay to son “as though it were his to give.” “I couldn’t help myself. I slipped a fingernail under the flap” of envelope. The “Army Corps of Engineers” tries to shore up island against erosion. In “The King of Dauphin Island,” Weems is one of “moneymen.” He must “move some funds around” and unload an “office park.” Weems is proud to bequeath to daughters “anything in the world was his to give.” “He couldn’t resist slipping a thumbnail under the flap” of envelope. The “Corps of Engineers” tries to shore up island against erosion. | The denouements are identical: In The Fisher King, ends ambiguously: neither big business, environmental activists, nor locals win. Gail finally comes to terms with her guilt and grief. Regina, Arlene move into retirement homes. Island will become historical theme park. Ironically, nature carries out Don’s and Peter’s restoration plans when island is abandoned. “The King of Dauphin Island,” ends ambiguously: neither big business, environmental goal, nor locals win. Weems finally comes to terms with his guilt and grief. Weems moves into retirement home. Fort Gaines becomes a Most Endangered Historical Site. Ironically, nature carries out Weems’s restoration plans when a hurricane flattens island. | The themes are identical: In The Fisher King, work that depletes natural resources and harms environment v. conservation that restores life. The importance of work to sense of self and of purpose. The importance of passing on family history, family business, genes, a future to next generation. Unresolved grief over loved one’s death and unresolved guilt over failure to prevent it, character attempts to atone for it. In “The King of Dauphin Island,” work that depletes natural resources and harms environment v. conservation that restores life. The importance of work to sense of self and of purpose. The importance of passing on family history, family business, genes, a future to next generation. Unresolved grief over loved one’s death and unresolved guilt over failure to prevent it, attempt to atone for it. | ”Landfall” | Identical main characters’ names: In The Fisher King: Pruitt, King. In “Landfall”: Pruitt, King. | In The Fisher King, King apprenticed in family business as boy. In “Landfall,” Angus apprenticed in family business as boy. | In The Fisher King, two brothers Don and Peter, leave for college and return. In “Landfall,” one brother, Percy, leaves for college and returns. | In The Fisher King, Gail is tall. In “Landfall,” Nora is tall. | In The Fisher King, Don has big, soft body. In “Landfall,” A.B. Ransom has big, soft body. | In The Fisher King, Gail cherishes early mornings in countryside with father. In “Landfall,” Percy cherishes early mornings in the countryside with father. | In The Fisher King, Gail becomes seasick. In “Landfall,” Angus becomes seasick. | In The Fisher King, Sonny stalls truck engine. In “Landfall,” Percy stalls truck engine. | In The Fisher King, question raised of tacking on “III” to son’s name. In “Landfall,” question raised of tacking on “third” to son’s name. | In The Fisher King, Gail is hyper-aware of parts of her body: scalp, nostrils, toes. In “Landfall,” Kathleen is hyper-aware of parts of her body: hair follicles, inside of nose, bottoms of feet. | In The Fisher King, a bottle whistles through the air. In “Landfall,” the wind whistles like breath over a bottle. | In The Fisher King, Don turns portable radio dial from weather to music. In “Landfall,” Nora turns portable radio dial from weather to music. | The syntax is identical: In The Fisher King, “I drew the line at…tacking on ‘III’” to son’s name. “I was suddenly aware of the tiny space…The wavering light…I was intensely aware of myself physically…Instead, I felt completely present, as though fully inhabiting my own skin. I was aware of those parts of my body that typically went unnoticed—scalp, nostrils, toes—and where they intersected with the world: the hair on my head…the cool wood beneath my soles.” In “Landfall,” “Your grandmother wanted him to be the third” tacked to son’s name. “The close quarters and the forced quiet and the wavery light combined somehow to make Kathleen aware of her whole body, every muscle and bones, the follicles of her hair and the bottoms of her feet and the inside of her nose…and this awareness of herself, of being alive at just this moment…” | “Our Lady of the Roses” | Identical main character’s name. In The Fisher King: Regina. In “Our Lady of the Roses”: Regina. | Nearly identical main character’s name. The Fisher King by Hayley. In “Our Lady of the Roses”: Hadley. | In The Fisher King, Gail is tall. In “Our Lady of the Roses”, Hadley is tall. | In The Fisher King, Don applied to Columbia University because far away, and returns. In “Our Lady of the Roses”, Hadley applied to Columbia University because far away, and returns. | In The Fisher King, Arlene’s female friends gloat upon her return. In “Our Lady of the Roses,” Hadley’s female friends gloat upon her return. | In The Fisher King, Gail flips files over top into landfill. In “Our Lady of the Roses”, Hadley flips bag over top into dumpster | In The Fisher King, Gail lies. In “Our Lady of the Roses”, Hadley lies. | In The Fisher King, Don is soft, plump. In “Our Lady of the Roses,” Davis is soft, plump. | The syntax is identical: In The Fisher King, “He [Don] had picked Columbia primarily for its location—he wanted to get as far away from Trappe Island as possible.” In “Our Lady of the Roses,” “Hadley had applied to…Columbia, because… none of those schools were less than five hundred miles from Mobile.” | “Smash and Grab” | Identical main character’s name. In The Fisher King: Pruitt. In “Smash and Grab”: Pruitt. | Does EVENINGLAND Have Plot and Theme Similarities to THE FISHER KING? | There are the eight main elements that comprise the “heart” on which The Fisher King turns, and “The King of Dauphin Island” takes six of them: | 1. Business—Greed caused big business (commercial real estate development) to exploit the island, depleting it of natural resources, harming the environment & putting locals out of work. | 2. Conservation—The importance of reclaiming island from environmental damage. | 3. Work—The importance of work to identity & sense of purpose. | 4. Community—The importance of community to sense of belonging, loyalty. | 5. Setting—The importance of place, specifically island, to work, identity, community. | 6. Inheritance—The importance of inheriting and passing on: island, history, genes, a future. | Does EVENINGLAND Have Line-by-Line Similarities to THE FISHER KING? | Does “The King of Dauphin Island” Have Line-by-Line Similarities to THE FISHER KING? | 146—Similar title: 146—“The King of Dauphin Island” STRIKINGLY SIMILAR TO 1—The Fisher King

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  • Name: Michael Knight
  • Country: United States
  • State: Tennessee
  • City: Knoxville
  • Address: 121 Montview Rd
  • Phone: 865.637.0083
  • Website: