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Kristeva is definitely polarizing—but love her or hate her, you can't deny that she's influential. "Bonkers"—or worthy of the Nobel Prize? You decide! (Source.)
At one point along the way, Kristeva started writing novels. But her book The Sumarai isn't just any novel—it's supposedly part roman à clef (a novel about real life), part "tell-all" that reveals some dirt about her rise as a female intellectual in Paris—and her relationship to her hubby. (Source.)
Shockingly, Kristeva (and others) were accused of lacking authority on a subject. That's right—crossing over into subject matter over which they had no mastery? Them's fightin' words. Kristeva naturally accused the authors of this sensationalist book, Intellectual Impostures, of being "anti-French intellectual." For more on this mess, see the "Major Arguments" section. (Source.)
Kristeva was accused of tapping into Orientalist clichés in her book About Chinese Women. None other than hardcore post-colonial scholar Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak accused her of being colonialist and Eurocentric, which are harsh words to dish out at a highly conscious cultural theorist. That's like telling a supermodel she's ugly. (Source.)