V.S. Naipaul is a great author, a living legend, winner of the Nobel Prize, and a total jerk. Also, apparently, no woman writer is his equal. In an interview last week, he observed women writers to display "sentimentality, the narrow view of the world." Via the Guardian:
He added: "My publisher, who was so good as a taster and editor, when she became a writer, lo and behold, it was all this feminine tosh. I don't mean this in any unkind way."
The criticism from the author is unsurprising. In the past Naipaul has criticised India's top female authors for their "banality" on the topic he is best known for writing about, the legacy of British colonialism
In a world filled with Margaret Atwood, Lydia Davis, Lynda Barry, and thousands more, women are going strong as writers. But V.S, Naipaul did manage to succeed in making me think about him for the first time in years, so I guess I lose.
The Atlantic has some good reactions from his colleagues and other notables.