Michiko Kakutani Drove Norman Mailer Crazy

By Jason Boog Comment

x4412.jpgIn 2003, Norman Mailer wrote a letter to Arthur Sulzberger accounting for five bad reviews he received from NY Times critic Michiko Kakutani–ending with a request for a private meeting between the Times publisher, himself, and Kakutani to discuss her track record with his work.

The Daily Beast has reprinted the letter for the first time, which meticulously accounts for every review he received over ten years, and quietly requests the letter be kept off the Internet. In addition, the feature includes letters to authors Cynthia Ozick, Don Carpenter, and James Jones.

Here’s a juicy excerpt: “If I were Janet Maslin, Richard Eder, or any of the other professional daily book reviewers, I would be a hair reluctant to give Norman Mailer a positive review given Kakutani’s control of the bandstand … [I] hope that the Times will agree to a quiet meeting with one or two of the people who have received this letter, plus Ms. Kakutani and myself. I must say I hope to receive a reply. I would rather keep all this in camera than disseminate it to the teeming raptors of the Internet. Did I say raptors? I mean raptures, teeming raptures.”