Alice Hoffman, America's most hypersensitive to criticism novelist, issued a statement this afternoon after publishing Roberta Silman's phone number and calling her names on Twitter after Silman wrote a negative review of Hoffman's new book in the Boston Globe.
I feel this whole situation has been completely blown out of proportion. Of course I was dismayed by Roberta Silman's review which gave away the plot of the novel, and in the heat of the moment I responded strongly and I wish I hadn't. I'm sorry if I offended anyone. Reviewers are entitled to their opinions and that's the name of the game in publishing. I hope my readers understand that I didn't mean to hurt anyone and I'm truly sorry if I did.
Now, maybe we're nitpicking here, but doesn't this apology seem sort of, well, half-assed? Would it have been that hard to string the words "I'd like to apologize to Roberta Silman" together somewhere in there? Because when you read the statement, Hoffman doesn't really address Silman directly—She mentions how she wishes that she hadn't "responded strongly" and issues a blanket "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" statement, but she doesn't bother to apologize to Silman directly. After crapping all over Silman's literary credentials, which she never took even a second to research, calling her a "moron" and an "idiot," publishing her phone number and encouraging her readers to call and harass her, you'd think that perhaps Alice Hoffman would have felt slightly compelled to offer Roberta Silman a direct apology, no? Or maybe we were just raised differently than she was.
UPDATE: It appears as though Hoffman herself has been the subject of another writer's rage after she wrote a lukewarm review of the author's work in the New York Times.