Katherine Mansfield and reviewers
It's hard to imagine anyone getting violently upset about Katherine Mansfield's gorgeous stories. Critics are a funny bunch though. Fresh from what were sometimes highly personal reactions to a fairly impersonal work, my new biography of J. S. Haldane, I'm astonished anew at the love 'em hate 'em response. Someone suggested to me recently that the author produces a holograph of herself / himself within a work, and it is this that reviewers respond to. That seems to make sense. When they go out into the world writers can protect themselves, select among those they meet, make great friends and avoid potential enemies. When a book goes out into the world that screen between ourself and other people is removed. With readers the case is somewhat different; those that might hate your book simply don't buy it. Reviewers have books foisted on them, and it is very often a wrong fit.
So here's Katherine Mansfield, in a letter to William Gerhardi after the publication of her 1922 collection The Garden Party:
"I wonder if you happened to see a review of my book in Time and Tide. It was written by a very fierce lady indeed. Beating in the face was nothing to it. It frightened me when I read it. I shall never dare to come to England. I am sure she would have my blood like the fish in Cock Robin. But why is she so dreadfully violent? One would think I was a wife beater, at least, or that I wrote all my stories with a carving knife. It is a great mystery.'