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Novelist Ayelet Waldman flipped out over a New York Times snub

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Ayelet Waldman is not happy with The New York Times—just see for yourself. Waldman, essayist and author of several novels including Love And Other Impossible Pursuits, published her latest book, Love And Treasure, earlier this year. And although the Times praised the generation- and continent-spanning novel on its release, it didn’t make the cut for the paper’s list of 100 notable books from 2014. Where some writers might have accepted the perceived snub with a drink and some rationalizations—there are over a quarter-million books published in the U.S. every year, a full half of the list was reserved for nonfiction, “notable” is so vague, etc.—Waldman instead took to Twitter with the literary equivalent of an “I’d like to speak to your manager” rant, complete with the phrase, “Fuck the fucking NY Times.”


Though Waldman subsequently deleted all but the most generalized anti-hater tweets and acknowledged the tirade as a “hissy fit” she immediately regretted, nothing on the Internet is gone forever, and The Daily Dot has screencapped the tweets. Never exactly known for having a filter, Waldman fumed that her “fucking great novel” was looked over in favor of “MANY books…with reviews that were NOWHERE near as good as [hers]” and even threatened to, in so many words, snap her quill pen over her knee in a writerly rage and go back to being a criminal defense attorney. She also took to Facebook to voice some of the same grievances, before admitting on that platform as well that she may have gone overboard with “venting in public.” On both Twitter and Facebook, she pledged to redirect her energies to donating proceeds from Love And Treasure paperback preorders to the crowdsourced scholarship organization Scholar Match.

Perhaps worth noting, if only to imagine how frosty things have been around the dinner table at the Waldman-Chabon house over the last few days, is the fact that Waldman’s husband, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon, has made the list several times. He was featured most recently for his book Telegraph Avenue in 2012.