Writer Gore Vidal, who filled his novels and essays with acerbic observations on politics, sex and US culture while carrying on feuds with his big-name literary rivals, died on Tuesday. He was 86.
Los Angeles nephew Burr Steers confirmed the legendary US writer’s death.
Vidal referred to himself as a “gentleman bitch” and was as egotistical and caustic as he was elegant and brilliant. In addition to rubbing shoulders with the great writers of his time, he banged heads with many of them.
Vidal considered Ernest Hemingway a joke and compared Truman Capote to a “filthy animal that has found its way into the house.”
His most famous literary enemies were conservative pundit William F. Buckley Jr and writer Norman Mailer, who Vidal once likened to cult killer Charles Manson. Mailer head-butted Vidal before a television appearance and on another occasion knocked him to the ground.