January 9, 1955 (age 61) (
New Haven, Connecticut
Pulitzer Prize for Criticism
Shizuo Kakutani, Stephen Jay Gould, Simeon Eben Baldwin
Michiko kakutani and reviewing books
Michiko "Michi" Kakutani (角谷 美智子, Kakutani Michiko, born January 9, 1955) is an American literary critic and former chief book critic for The New York Times.
- Michiko kakutani and reviewing books
- So do you read book reviews from traditional papers
- Early life
So... do you read book reviews from traditional papers?
Kakutani, a Japanese American, was born on January 9, 1955, in New Haven, Connecticut. She is the only child of Yale mathematician Shizuo Kakutani and his wife. While her father was born in Japan, her mother was a second-generation Japanese-American. She received her B.A. in English literature from Yale University in 1976, where she studied under author and Yale writing professor John Hersey, among others.
She initially worked as a reporter for The Washington Post, and then from 1977 to 1979 for Time magazine, where Hersey had worked. In 1979, she joined The New York Times as a reporter.
Kakutani has been a literary critic for The New York Times since 1983. Her periodically harsh reviews of some prominent authors have garnered both attention and, on occasion, criticism. She has been known to write reviews in the voice of movie or book characters, including Brian Griffin, Austin Powers, Holden Caulfield, Elle Woods of Legally Blonde, and Truman Capote's character Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
On July 19, 2007, The New York Times published a pre-release story written by Kakutani about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. An account of the ensuing controversy, including the critical comments of some Harry Potter fans, can be found on the Times Public Editor's blog.
Kakutani was parodied in the essay "I Am Michiko Kakutani" by one of her former Yale classmates, Colin McEnroe.
Kakutani announced that she was stepping down as chief book critic of the Times on July 27, 2017.
Kakutani is a fan of the New York Yankees.