Takedowns
5

The "Retrenchments and Narrowings" of Salman Rushdie

Some of his most egregiously uncharitable moments occur when writing about his four marriages….In a close-run contest between Marianne Wiggins (number two) and Padma Lakshmi (number four), it is the latter who emerges as the worst of the spousal bunch. Rushdie presents her as the Marion Davies to his William Randolph Hearst—an erotically beguiling but fundamentally vapid gold digger, whose selfish ambitions as a model, actress, and TV host have, in the end, “nothing to do with the fulfillment of his deepest needs.” The final revelation of her shallowness comes in the wake of September 11 when Rushdie, grieving and shaken and feeling the need to connect with [...]

2

Katie Roiphe Regards Herself

"On the subject of Ms. Didion’s writing about herself, Ms. Roiphe concludes: 'Didion did it elegantly, but many of those who followed did it not so elegantly.' She names Anna Quindlen, Maureen Dowd, Susan Orlean and Meghan Daum, though she fails to name herself." —Katie Roiphe's "body of criticism presumes culture is determined entirely by things people have said to or about her."