V.S. Naipaul was asked the other day whether he considered any woman writer his "literary match". His simple and typical answer was "No." Asked if that opinion included, say, Jane Austen, he said that all women writers were doomed to inferiority (compared to him) because of their "sentimentality."
Pretty amusing stuff.
Even more amusing was Jennifer Egan's (of current Goon Squad fame) response when reached by phone by the WSJ:
These comments are a reminder of what we all know. If someone is a perceptive, nuanced writer, it does not mean that the person, as a perceiver of the world, manifests the same qualities. Reading those comments you have no interest in engaging in this person’s sensibility. You wouldn’t think this person has anything to reveal. But as a writer he’s much more than that, so that contradiction is interesting. To condemn these comments gives them more weight, endows them with more authority. They just sound like one’s man cranky, outmoded point of view