Carmen Callil was likely suffering from ideologically inspired illiteracy when she quit the Booker International Prize panel because the author won the award
Philip Roth can probably find the humor in Carmen Callil's boorish dismissal of his work--"I don't rate him as a writer at all," she proclaimed, resigning from the judging panel that awarded him the Man Booker International prize. But I'm discouraged by what I assume is her ideologically inspired illiteracy. I understand why Roth arouses the ire of some feminists, and I'm not suggesting that they should refrain from expressing it; but I expect a member of a prestigious literary panel to be capable of separating her antipathy for a writer's sensibilities and ideas from her evaluation of his talent. I've never felt much kinship with Margaret Atwood, but I wouldn't call her a second rate writer, much less no kind of a writer at all. I'd simply say her work doesn't speak to me.
Question my feminism if you must, but reading Roth's books I always feel immersed in conversation with him, although I like letting him do all the talking. Carmen Callil has a tin ear and no sense of rhythm if she can't at least appreciate the sound of his sentences, which I sometimes read out loud to myself. He ranges widely--over American politics and culture, filial as well as sexual relations, assimilation, depression, randomness, and death, among other subjects, which Callil may be too distracted by irritation at his bad attitude to notice. I don't know how else to account for her blinkered observation that "he goes on and on about the same subject in almost every single book."