Another year, another offensive Mailer rant

Norman Mailer calls the New York Times‘ Michiko Kakutani “a one-woman kamikaze”*:

She disdains white male authors, and I’m her number-one favorite target. One of her cheap tricks is to bring out your review two weeks in advance of publication. She trashes it just to hurt sales and embarrass the author . . . But the Times’ editors can’t fire her. They’re terrified of her. With discrimination rules and such, well, she’s a threefer: Asiatic, feminist and, ah, what’s the third? Well, let’s just call her a twofer. They get two for one. She is a token. And, deep down, she probably knows it.

Publishers Lunch counters with some research:

Out of curiosity, we checked our handy archive of over 150 reviews by Kakutani, dating back to late 2002. While she certainly dislikes more books than she loves, among the novels she has liked white men are as well represented as any–including books by Ian McEwan, Bruce Wagner, Julian Barnes, John Gregory Dunne, and Jonathan Lethem. In the same period, we found about eight positive reviews for works of fiction by women (and most of those authors were not Caucasian).

Mailer, who stabbed one of his wives in the chest with a pair of scissors, used to believe that all women should be locked in cages; since then he’s backtracked slightly.

* Isn’t “kamikaze,” by definition, a singular noun?


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