Just as social media has altered the relationship between authors and readers, it’s starting to affect the relationship between writers and reviewers. When veteran American novelist Alice Hoffman read a mixed review of her latest novel by Roberta Silman in the Boston Globe, she reacted—in one sense—like a pro: she hit the roof. In a series of furious tweets to her fans, Hoffman played the Famous Writer Card (“Now any idiot can be a critic. So who is Roberta Silman?”); the Feminist Card (“Girls are taught to be gracious and keep their mouths shut. We don’t have to.”); the Provincial Critic Card (“This is a town where a barking dog is the second top story on the news”); the Lousy Paper Card (“No wonder there is no book section in the Globe anymore—they don’t care about their readers, why should we care about them?”); and the Post Your Enemy’s Email & Phone Number Online Card (encouraging fans to further validate her reaction and “tell her what u think of snarky critics.”). Just because Hoffman, in the opinion of most observers, came out looking like a hyper-insecure idiot, doesn’t mean she might not have taken one for the writers’ team. Just something else for reviewers to keep in mind. As for Silman, she can perhaps reflect that Twitter-assault beats a drink in the face at the next literary launch.
Who r u to diss my book?
A veteran writer tweets back at a critic