Writers and Reviewers Fight, Make Up

You’ve gotta love Jonathan Franzen (The Discomfort Zone, 2006). At least he doesn’t pick fights with small-timers. The New York Observer reports that he called Michiko Kakutani “the stupidest person in New York City.” It must have been something she wrote:

In that review, Ms. Kakutani wrote: “there is something oddly preening about [Franzen’s] self-inventory of sins, as though he actually reveled in being so disagreeable.” Also: “Just why anyone would be interested in pages and pages about [Franzen’s unhappy marriage] or the self-important and self-promoting contents of Mr. Franzen’s mind remains something of a mystery.”

In related news, another feuding writer-reviewer duo, Rick Moody and Dale Peck, have reconciled. Peck, you may recall, famously called Moody “the worst writer of his generation.” And there’s video, too.

On Galleycat, Emily Gould asks whether they’re being sincere:

This is cute and all, but there’s a chummy, clubby aspect of the ‘reconciliation’ that bothers me. Does Peck really take back everything he ever said about, say,’The Black Veil?’ Does he still care fervently about literature and how it’s marketed, or is he just spending his free time swimming around in a vault full of money a la Scrooge McDuck now that his sci-fi project with the dude from Heroes sold for $3 million?

Hey, if a cream pie doesn’t demonstrate sincerity, I don’t know what does!



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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