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At the end of last year I received an unsolicited and unintentionally funny review of my latest book, presenting me with an inquisitorial list of my literary crimes and denouncing me as a shadow of the columnist I’d been back when I started writing for the Mail & Guardian in the early 2000s.

I’ve received some memorable criticism over my career. I will forever cherish being called a dom drol by Steve Hofmeyr. In this case, however, I wasn’t plunged into a long dark night of the soul, or even a short, faintly luminescent one. If you dish it out you need to be able to take it, and besides, when someone takes 2,064 words (as this person did) to express their fury that you are no longer the insecure snob you were at 25, they’re saying more about themselves than about you...

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