Earlier this week, Ayelet Waldman did too. Responding to a review of her new book, Bad Mother, in The New Yorker, Waldman told the world "May Jill Lepore rot in hell. That is all."
(That, by the way, may not be all. A Salon reader reports Waldman's earlier version of the tweet referred to Lepore as a "twat," though there's nothing to that effect up now.)
But why stop at Twitter? Monday, Alain De Botton responded to a negative New York Times review by posting on the blog of the critic who wrote it, Caleb Crain. Clearly no fan of restraint, De Botton wrote, "I will hate you till the day I die and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make. I will be watching with interest and schadenfreude."
I'm a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and a recently published author myself.
In my own reviewing, I try my best to support my argument for why a book does or doesn't achieve what the author set out to do. (I hate when critics pound a book for being what it is -- if you don't like, say, scifi, do us a favor and don't read it.)
And while I've had a few unpleasant moments of shoe on the other footness as an author, I've tried to suck that up.
A Salon staffer who used to work at a newspaper said this week that when they'd get irate letters from authors about their reviews (remember when there were letters?) she'd ask the authors if they really wanted them to publish them. Because as she said, "This isn't going to make you look good."
Authors, entertaining as your public tantrums are, I humbly suggest you get yourself an internal editor to ask, "Do you really want to this published?" Unless you're Norman Mailer, who is dead and therefore you're not, it won't boost your myth as a larger than life literary figure. It'll just make you look like a thin skinned doof.