Kiwi author slams 'misogynist prick'

CONTROVERSIAL: VS Naipaul says a woman's "narrow view of the world" affects her writing.
CONTROVERSIAL: VS Naipaul says a woman's "narrow view of the world" affects her writing.

Famed New Zealand author Keri Hulme has heavily criticised fellow Booker Prize winner VS Naipaul, labelling him a "misogynist prick" for his comments on female writers.

Hulme, the only New Zealander to win the Booker Prize, with The Bone People in 1985, lashed out at Naipaul after he said he did not regard any female authors as his equal, even famed novelist Jane Austen, because they are "sentimental".

Hulme, who lives in seclusion in New Zealand's South Island, took exception to the comments and wrote on the website Beattie's Blog: "VS Naipaul is a misogynist prick whose works are dying.

INDIGNANT: New Zealand author Keri Hulme says many women writers will out-survive VS Naipaul.
INDIGNANT: New Zealand author Keri Hulme says many women writers will out-survive VS Naipaul.

"He accurately foresaw their relevance three decades ago: 'They will not survive me.'

"As he ages, his nasty behaviour - and judgments - become ever more wince-making. Many thousand women writers both outrank and will out-survive this slug."

The Trinidad-born Naipaul has been knighted and awarded both the Booker Prize in 1971 for his novel In a Free State and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001.

No stranger to controversy in the past, he bared his views in full in London's Evening Standard newspaper this month, saying: "Women writers are different, they are quite different.

"I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me," he said.

The 78-year-old went on to say a woman's "narrow view of the world" affected her writing.

"And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too.

"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," he added.

Asked if he considered any women writers his equal, he replied: "I don't think so."

AAP