Oyler’s first viral book review was a takedown of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist for Bookslut in 2014 (where she says the book evinces the “kind of style that makes you wonder whether literature is dead and we have killed it”). Not all of Oyler’s reviews are negative, but these are the ones that have often made the biggest splashes. In the past few years, she has levied sharp takedowns of Lady Bird and Meg Wolitzer, Sally Rooney and Kristen Roupenian (“Cat Person”), while displaying surprising affection towards Gillian Flynn, Zadie Smith, and Sheila Heti. Last year, her pan of Jia Tolentino’s widely beloved essay collection Trick Mirror got so much traffic that it crashed The London Review of Books’ website. “She doesn’t abide by these rules of who in any particular moment is deemed untouchable. She just doesn’t care,” says writer Jessa Crispin, who edited Oyler at Bookslut.
And why not? She says it hasn’t cost her any friends — or assignments. “I’m not afraid of being disliked by people that I already dislike,” she shrugs. “People being mad at me is not the same as people not hiring me to do more writing.”
Tolentino didn’t respond to my email; Roxane Gay declined to comment as she didn’t have “anything mature to say.”
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor