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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Monday, January 8, 2007 10:34 am
A Not Terribly Exclusive Club
Posted by: Keir Graff

What do William Styron, Truman Capote, McGeorge Bundy, Germaine Greer, Gore Vidal, and Michiko Kakutani have in common? They’re on Norman Mailer’s All-Time Enemies List.

Best repartee: after Mailer head-butted him in the green room of The Dick Cavett Show in 1971, Vidal–still lying on the floor–said, “Words fail Norman Mailer yet again.”

Does Mailer’s tendency to literally pick fights with his critics mean that Booklist editors should fear swats from his walking canes? Brad Hooper’s review of The Castle in the Forest is, after all, decidedly unenthusiastic. But Brad may have bought insurance by calling The Spooky Art a “goldmine”; judging The Time of Our Time to be in “perfect order”; and deeming The Gospel according to the Son to be “provocatively imagined.”

Hmm, come to think of it, maybe Brad will be riding shotgun with Mailer, cruising around, looking to mix it up with a certain critic from the New York Times….


One Response to “A Not Terribly Exclusive Club”
  1. Likely Stories » Blog Archive » Mailer Still Enjoys Fighting (Words) Says:

    [...] Norman Mailer may not be feeling up to head-butting, sitting on, or stabbing anyone these days, but he’s still good for a war of words. As Rush and Molloy reported in last Friday’s New York Daily News, even if Michiko Kakutani isn’t reviewing his books for the New York Times, it’s still her fault that the paper gave him a bad review. [...]

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