Kerridge sides with Updike and the others. “There are many reasons to mourn Wolfe, who has died aged 88. I can’t say that the thought that he won’t write any more novels is one of them,” admits Kerridge, who reviewed Wolfe’s last “bloated” novel, Back to Blood.
As for the feud with Updike, Norman Mailer, and John Irving, which Kerridge says was “possibly more entertaining than anything the four of them actually published in the 1990s,”
“It began when Wolfe, who had made his name as a brilliant journalist, wrote an essay condemning modern American novelists for navel-gazing when they should be out researching and reporting on modern America.
“Norman Mailer then denounced Wolfe as a show-off, reserving his strongest contempt for Wolfe’s flamboyant dress sense,” and Wolfe “declared war, dismissing Updike (a year younger than himself) and Mailer as ‘these two old piles of bones.'”
Below is a link to the entire article, photo by The Telegraph staff: