In her 30 years as a New York Times book critic, Michiko Kakutani has made her fair share of enemies. The notoriously harsh reviewer has never been afraid to voice unpopular opinions, and her sharp pen has drawn its own kind of criticism—from Norman Mailer, who called her a “one-woman kamikaze,” to Jonathan Franzen, who dubbed her “the stupidest person in New York.” Of course, Ms. Kakutani is anything but stupid. One of the leading American literary critics, the Pulitzer Prize winner has established herself as one of the most deft and insightful voices in the critical pantheon. And she’s not afraid to experiment with the book review format: she’s written in characters’ voices and conducted reviews in prose poetry. She also introduced a generation of New York Times readers to the word “limn.” One of the few legitimate celebrity critics—her name has been invoked fictionally everywhere from Sex and the City to The O.C.—Ms. Kakutani is easily one of the most influential critics in the world. Her top ten lists and starred reviews have the rare power—in the Goodreads era—to make or break a novel. Who wants to be in Oprah’s book club when you can be in Michiko Kakutani’s?