Mailer: Times book critic a 'kamikaze'

June 30, 2005 at 4:24 PM

NEW YORK, June 30 (UPI) -- Literary legend Norman Mailer has gotten himself embroiled in a nasty public squabble with New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani.

Kakutani has been unenthusiastic about Mailer's recent books. For example, she said "The Gospel According To The Son" is "silly, self-important and at times inadvertently comical" that reads like a mixture of the musical "Godspell," "The Last Temptation of the Christ" and a dumbed-down translation of the Bible.

Mailer responded with even more venom in an interview with Douglas Brinkley, whose profile of Mailer appears in the summer issue of "Rolling Stone."

"Kakutani is a one-woman kamikaze," Mailer said. "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."

In the interview, Mailer suggested that the Times keeps Kakutani on because she is a "twofer" as a woman and a member of a minority group.

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