Norman Mailer
Overview
Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter
Screenwriter
Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

, and film director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

.

Along with Truman Capote
Truman Capote
Truman Streckfus Persons , known as Truman Capote , was an American author, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's and the true crime novel In Cold Blood , which he labeled a "nonfiction novel." At...

, Joan Didion
Joan Didion
Joan Didion is an American author best known for her novels and her literary journalism. Her novels and essays explore the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, where the overriding theme is individual and social fragmentation...

, Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter Stockton Thompson was an American journalist and author who wrote The Rum Diary , Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 .He is credited as the creator of Gonzo journalism, a style of reporting where reporters involve themselves in the action to...

, John McPhee
John McPhee
John Angus McPhee is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, widely considered one of the pioneers of creative nonfiction....

, and Tom Wolfe
Tom Wolfe
Thomas Kennerly "Tom" Wolfe, Jr. is a best-selling American author and journalist. He is one of the founders of the New Journalism movement of the 1960s and 1970s.-Early life and education:...

, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction
Creative nonfiction
Creative nonfiction is a genre of writing that uses literary styles and techniques to create factually accurate narratives. Creative nonfiction contrasts with other nonfiction, such as technical writing or journalism, which is also rooted in accurate fact, but is not primarily written in service...

, a genre sometimes called New Journalism
New Journalism
New Journalism was a style of 1960s and 1970s news writing and journalism which used literary techniques deemed unconventional at the time. The term was codified with its current meaning by Tom Wolfe in a 1973 collection of journalism articles he published as The New Journalism, which included...

, which superimposes the style and devices of literary fiction onto fact-based journalism. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

 twice and the National Book Award
National Book Award
The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards. Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the current year. In 1989 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book...

 once. In 1955, Mailer, together with John Wilcock, Ed Fancher and Dan Wolf, first published The Village Voice
The Village Voice
The Village Voice is a free weekly newspaper and news and features website in New York City that features investigative articles, analysis of current affairs and culture, arts and music coverage, and events listings for New York City...

, which began as an arts and politics oriented weekly newspaper distributed in Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village, , , , .in New York often simply called "the Village", is a largely residential neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan in New York City. A large majority of the district is home to upper middle class families...

.
Quotations

Every moment of one's existence one is growing into more or retreating into less. One is always living a little more or dying a little bit.

"Hip, Hell, and the Navigator" in Western Review No. 23 (Winter 1959); republished in Conversations with Norman Mailer (1988) edited by J. Michael Lennon.

The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people.

"Hip, Hell, and the Navigator" in Western Review No. 23 (Winter 1959); republished in Conversations with Norman Mailer (1988) edited by J. Michael Lennon.

The sickness of our times for me has been just this damn thing that everything has been getting smaller and smaller and less and less important, that the romantic spirit has dried up, that there is no shame today.... We're all getting so mean and small and petty and ridiculous, and we all live under the threat of extermination.

"Hip, Hell, and the Navigator" in Western Review No. 23 (Winter 1959); republished in Conversations with Norman Mailer (1988) edited by J. Michael Lennon.

Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.

"Mr. Mailer Interviews Himself" in The New York Times Book Review (17 September 1965)

You're contending with a genius, D.J. is his name, only American alive who could outtalk Cassius Clay, that's lip.

D.J., in Why Are We in Vietnam? (1967) Ch. 1

This is D.J., Disc Jockey to America turning off. Vietnam, hot dam.

D.J., in Why Are We in Vietnam? (1967) Ch. 10

With the pride of an artist, you must blow against the walls of every power that exists, the small trumpet of your defiance.

As quoted in The Eternal Adam and the New World Garden (1968) by David W. Noble, p. 204

His consolation in those hours when he was most uncharitable to himself is that taken at his very worst he was at least still worthy of being a character in a novel by Honoré de Balzac|Balzac, win one day, lose the next, and do it with boom! and baroque in the style.

Armies of the Night|Armies of the Night (1968)

Encyclopedia
Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter
Screenwriter
Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

, and film director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

.

Along with Truman Capote
Truman Capote
Truman Streckfus Persons , known as Truman Capote , was an American author, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's and the true crime novel In Cold Blood , which he labeled a "nonfiction novel." At...

, Joan Didion
Joan Didion
Joan Didion is an American author best known for her novels and her literary journalism. Her novels and essays explore the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, where the overriding theme is individual and social fragmentation...

, Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter Stockton Thompson was an American journalist and author who wrote The Rum Diary , Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 .He is credited as the creator of Gonzo journalism, a style of reporting where reporters involve themselves in the action to...

, John McPhee
John McPhee
John Angus McPhee is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, widely considered one of the pioneers of creative nonfiction....

, and Tom Wolfe
Tom Wolfe
Thomas Kennerly "Tom" Wolfe, Jr. is a best-selling American author and journalist. He is one of the founders of the New Journalism movement of the 1960s and 1970s.-Early life and education:...

, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction
Creative nonfiction
Creative nonfiction is a genre of writing that uses literary styles and techniques to create factually accurate narratives. Creative nonfiction contrasts with other nonfiction, such as technical writing or journalism, which is also rooted in accurate fact, but is not primarily written in service...

, a genre sometimes called New Journalism
New Journalism
New Journalism was a style of 1960s and 1970s news writing and journalism which used literary techniques deemed unconventional at the time. The term was codified with its current meaning by Tom Wolfe in a 1973 collection of journalism articles he published as The New Journalism, which included...

, which superimposes the style and devices of literary fiction onto fact-based journalism. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

 twice and the National Book Award
National Book Award
The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards. Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the current year. In 1989 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book...

 once. In 1955, Mailer, together with John Wilcock, Ed Fancher and Dan Wolf, first published The Village Voice
The Village Voice
The Village Voice is a free weekly newspaper and news and features website in New York City that features investigative articles, analysis of current affairs and culture, arts and music coverage, and events listings for New York City...

, which began as an arts and politics oriented weekly newspaper distributed in Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village, , , , .in New York often simply called "the Village", is a largely residential neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan in New York City. A large majority of the district is home to upper middle class families...

. In 2005, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation
National Book Foundation
The National Book Foundation, founded in 1989, is an American nonprofit literary organization established "to raise the cultural appreciation of great writing in America." It achieves this through sponsoring the National Book Award, as well as the medal for Distinguished Contribution to American...

.

In 1992, Mailer received the annual Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award
Helmerich Award
The Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award is an American literary prize awarded by the Tulsa Library Trust in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is bestowed annually upon an "internationally acclaimed" author who has "written a distinguished body of work and made a major contribution to the field of...

 presented by the Tulsa Library Trust
Tulsa City-County Library
The Tulsa City-County Library is the major public library system in Tulsa County, Oklahoma.-Overview:The library system serves those who live, work, go to school in, own land in, or pay property taxes on land in Tulsa County. There are 25 branches in the system: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,...

.

Early life

Norman Kingsley Mailer was born to a well-known Jewish family in Long Branch, New Jersey
Long Branch, New Jersey
Long Branch is a city in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 30,719.Long Branch was formed on April 11, 1867, as the Long Branch Commission, from portions of Ocean Township...

. His father, Isaac Barnett Mailer, was a South African-born accountant
Accountant
An accountant is a practitioner of accountancy or accounting , which is the measurement, disclosure or provision of assurance about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and others make decisions about allocating resources.The Big Four auditors are the largest...

, and his mother, Fanny Schneider, ran a housekeeping
Housekeeping
Housekeeping is the act of cleaning the rooms and furnishings of a home. It is one of the many chores included in the term housework. Housecleaning includes activities such as disposing of rubbish, cleaning dirty surfaces, dusting and vacuuming. It may also involve some outdoor chores, such as...

 and nursing
Nursing
Nursing is a healthcare profession focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life from conception to death....

 agency
Employment agency
An employment agency is an organization which matches employers to employees. In all developed countries there is a publicly funded employment agency and multiple private businesses which also act as employment agencies.-Public employment agencies:...

. Mailer's sister, Barbara, was born in 1927. His second sister, Norma, was born in 1930. Raised in Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from Boys' High School and entered Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 1939, where he studied aeronautical engineering. At Harvard, he became interested in writing and published his first story at the age of 18, winning Story magazine
Story (magazine)
Story was a magazine founded in 1931 by journalist-editor Whit Burnett and his first wife, Martha Foley, in Vienna, Austria. Showcasing short stories by new authors, 67 copies of the debut issue were mimeographed in Vienna, and two years later, Story moved to New York City where Burnett and Foley...

's college contest in 1941. As an undergraduate, he was a member of The Signet Society
Signet society
The Signet Society of Harvard University was founded in 1870 by members of the class of 1871. The first president was Charles Joseph Bonaparte. It was, at first, dedicated to the production of literary work only, going so far as to exclude debate and even theatrical productions. According to The...

. After graduating in 1943, he was drafted
Selective Service System
The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

 into the U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

. In World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, he served in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 with the 112th Cavalry
112th Cavalry Regiment (United States)
The 112th Cavalry Regiment was a Texas National Guard Regiment that served in several Pacific campaigns during World War II.-Early history:...

. He was not involved in much combat and completed his service as a cook, but the experience provided enough material for The Naked and the Dead
The Naked and the Dead
The Naked and the Dead is a 1948 novel by Norman Mailer. It was based on his experiences with the 112th Cavalry Regiment during the Philippines Campaign in World War II...

.

Novels

In 1948, while continuing his studies at the Sorbonne
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

 in Paris, Mailer published The Naked and the Dead
The Naked and the Dead
The Naked and the Dead is a 1948 novel by Norman Mailer. It was based on his experiences with the 112th Cavalry Regiment during the Philippines Campaign in World War II...

,
(1948) based on his military service in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. A New York Times best seller for 62 weeks, it was hailed by many as one of the best American wartime novels and named one of the "one hundred best novels in English language
Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels
Modern Library's 100 Best Novels is a list of the best English-language novels of the 20th century as selected by the Modern Library. Both Modern Library and Random House USA, the parent company, are US companies. Critics have argued that this is responsible for a very American view of the greatest...

" by the Modern Library
Modern Library
The Modern Library is a publishing company. Founded in 1917 by Albert Boni and Horace Liveright as an imprint of their publishing company Boni & Liveright, it was purchased in 1925 by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer...

.

Barbary Shore
Barbary Shore
Barbary Shore is Norman Mailer's second published novel, written after Mailer's great success with his 1948 debut The Naked and the Dead. It concerns a protagonist who rents a room in a Brooklyn boarding house with the intention of writing a novel. Wounded during World War II, he is an amnesiac,...

(1951) was a surreal parable of Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 left politics set in a Brooklyn rooming-house. His 1955 novel The Deer Park
The Deer Park
The Deer Park is a Hollywood novel written by Norman Mailer and published in 1955 by G.P. Putnam's Sons after it was rejected by Mailer's publisher, Rinehart & Company, for obscenity. Despite having already typeset the book, Rinehart claimed that the manuscript's obscenity voided its contract with...

drew on his experiences working as a screenwriter in Hollywood in 1949–50. It was initially rejected by seven publishers due to its purportedly sexual content before being published by Putnam's
G. P. Putnam's Sons
G. P. Putnam's Sons was a major United States book publisher based in New York City, New York. Since 1996, it has been an imprint of the Penguin Group.-History:...

.

In the tradition of Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

 and Dostoevsky
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky was a Russian writer of novels, short stories and essays. He is best known for his novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov....

, Mailer wrote his fourth novel, An American Dream
An American Dream
An American Dream is Norman Mailer's fourth novel, published by Dial Press. Mailer wrote it in serialized form for Esquire, consciously attempting to resurrect the methodology used by Charles Dickens and other earlier novelists, with Mailer writing each chapter against monthly deadlines...

, as a serial in Esquire
Esquire (magazine)
Esquire is a men's magazine, published in the U.S. by the Hearst Corporation. Founded in 1932, it flourished during the Great Depression under the guidance of founder and editor Arnold Gingrich.-History:...

magazine over eight months (January to August 1964), publishing the first chapter only two months after he wrote it. In March 1965, Dial Press
Dial Press
The Dial Press was a publishing house founded in 1923 by Lincoln MacVeagh.Dial Press shared a building with The Dial and Scofield Thayer worked with both. The first imprint was issued in 1924. Authors included Elizabeth Bowen, W.R...

 published a revised version. His editor was E. L. Doctorow
E. L. Doctorow
Edgar Lawrence Doctorow is an American author.- Biography :Edgar Lawrence Doctorow was born in the Bronx, New York City, the son of second-generation Americans of Russian Jewish descent...

. The novel received mixed reviews, but was a best seller. Joan Didion
Joan Didion
Joan Didion is an American author best known for her novels and her literary journalism. Her novels and essays explore the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, where the overriding theme is individual and social fragmentation...

 praised it in a review in National Review (April 20, 1965) and John W. Aldridge did the same in Life (March 19, 1965), while Elizabeth Hardwick panned it in Partisan Review (spring 1965). Except for a brief period, the novel has never gone out of print.

In 1980, The Executioner's Song
The Executioner's Song
The Executioner's Song is a 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Norman Mailer that depicts the events surrounding the execution of Gary Gilmore by the state of Utah for murder. The title of the book may be a play on "The Lord High Executioner's Song" from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado...

—Mailer's novelization of the life and death of murderer Gary Gilmore
Gary Gilmore
Gary Mark Gilmore was an American criminal, and murderer, who gained international notoriety for demanding that his own death sentence be fulfilled following two murders he committed in Utah. He became the first person executed in the United States after the U.S...

—won the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

 for fiction.

Mailer spent a longer time writing Ancient Evenings
Ancient Evenings
Ancient Evenings is a novel by American author Norman Mailer. It deals with the lives of two protagonists, one young, one old, in a very alien Ancient Egypt marked by journeys by the dead, reincarnation, and violent and hyper-sexual gods and mortals in a complex combination of historical fiction,...

—his novel of Egypt in the XX dynasty (about 1100 B.C.E.)—than any of his other books, working on it off and on from 1972 until 1983. It was also a bestseller, although reviews were generally negative.

Harlot's Ghost
Harlot's Ghost
Harlot's Ghost , a fictional chronicle of the Central Intelligence Agency by Norman Mailer. The characters are a mixture of real people and fictional figures.-Summary:...

, Mailer's longest novel (1310 pages), appeared in 1991. It is an exploration of the unspoken dramas of the CIA from the end of WWII to 1965. He performed a huge amount of research for the novel, which is still on CIA reading lists. He ended the novel with the words "To be continued," and planned to write a sequel, titled Harlot's Grave. But other projects intervened and he never wrote it. Harlot's Ghost sold well.

His final novel, The Castle in the Forest
The Castle in the Forest
The Castle in the Forest is the last novel by writer Norman Mailer, published in the year of his death, 2007. It is the story of Adolf Hitler's childhood as seen through the eyes of Dieter, a demon sent to put him on his destructive path. The novel explores the idea that Hitler had no Jewish...

, which focused on Hitler's childhood, reached number five on the Times best-seller list after publication in January 2007, and received stronger reviews than any of his books since The Executioner's Song. Castle was intended to be the first volume of a trilogy, but Mailer died several months after it was completed. The Castle in the Forest was awarded a Bad Sex in Fiction Award by the Literary Review
Literary Review
Literary Review is a British literary magazine founded in 1979 by Anne Smith, then head of the Department of English at Edinburgh University. Its offices are currently on Lexington Street in Soho, London, and it has a circulation of 44,750. Britain's principal literary monthly, the magazine was...

magazine.

Mailer wrote over 40 books. He published 11 novels over a 59-year span.

The New Journalism

From the mid-1950s, Mailer became known for his counter-cultural essays. In 1955, he co-founded The Village Voice
The Village Voice
The Village Voice is a free weekly newspaper and news and features website in New York City that features investigative articles, analysis of current affairs and culture, arts and music coverage, and events listings for New York City...

for which he wrote a column from January to April 1956. Mailer's famous essay "The White Negro" (1957) "analyzes and partly defends the moral radicalism of the outsider and hipster." It is one of the most anthologized, and controversial, essays of the postwar period.

In 1960, Mailer wrote "Superman Comes to the Supermarket" for Esquire
Esquire (magazine)
Esquire is a men's magazine, published in the U.S. by the Hearst Corporation. Founded in 1932, it flourished during the Great Depression under the guidance of founder and editor Arnold Gingrich.-History:...

magazine, an account of the emergence of John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 during the Democratic party convention. The essay was an important breakthrough for the New Journalism of the nineteen sixties. Mailer's contributions to the New Journalism include major books such as The Armies of the Night (1968—awarded a Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction
The Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction has been awarded since 1962 for a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in another category.-1960s:...

 and National Book Award
National Book Award
The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards. Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the current year. In 1989 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book...

); Miami and the Siege of Chicago (1968); Of a Fire on the Moon
Of a Fire on the Moon
Of a Fire on the Moon is a work of non-fiction by Norman Mailer which was serialised in Life magazine in 1969 and 1970, and published in 1970 as a book...

(1971); and The Prisoner of Sex (1971). Hallmarks of these works are a highly subjectivized style and a greater application of techniques from fiction-writing than common in journalism.

Mailer wrote a Playboy
Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

article about Elmo Henderson
Elmo Henderson
Elmo Henderson was an African-American boxer from Texas. Despite his 1972 win against Muhammad Ali in an exhibition match in San Antonio, Texas, he did not become particularly well known in the boxing community; John Spong of the Texas Monthly said that the match was the "shot not heard round the...

, a boxer who had defeated Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist...

 in 1972. In the 1970s Henderson filed a $1 million libel action against Mailer and Playboy. The magazine and Mailer lost the lawsuit.

Work for film

In addition to his experimental fiction and nonfiction novels, Mailer produced a play version of The Deer Park (staged at the Theatre De Lys in Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village, , , , .in New York often simply called "the Village", is a largely residential neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan in New York City. A large majority of the district is home to upper middle class families...

 in 1967), and in the late 1960s directed a number of improvisational avant-garde films in a Warhol style, including Maidstone
Maidstone (film)
Maidstone was a film made in 1970, directed by, written by, and starring Norman Mailer.-Plot summary:Famous film director Norman Kingsley runs for President while working on his latest film project...

(1970), which includes a spontaneous and brutal brawl between Norman T. Kingsley, played by Mailer, and Kingsley's brother, played by Rip Torn
Rip Torn
Elmore Rual "Rip" Torn, Jr. , is an American actor of stage, screen and television.Torn received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1983 film Cross Creek. His work includes the role of Artie, the producer, on The Larry Sanders Show, for which he was nominated...

. Mailer received a head injury when Torn struck him with a hammer. In 1987, he adapted and directed a film version
Tough Guys Don't Dance (film)
Tough Guys Don't Dance is a 1987 film written and directed by Norman Mailer based on his novel of the same name. It is a murder mystery/film noir piece that was scorned by audiences and critics alike. It was screened out of competition at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival.The script had revisions done...

 of his novel Tough Guys Don't Dance, starring Ryan O'Neal
Ryan O'Neal
Charles Patrick Ryan O'Neal , better known as Ryan O'Neal, is an American actor best known for his appearances in the ABC nighttime soap opera Peyton Place and for his roles in such films as Paper Moon , Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon , A Bridge Too Far , and Love Story , for which he received...

 and Isabella Rossellini
Isabella Rossellini
Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini is an Italian actress, filmmaker, author, philanthropist, and model. Rossellini is noted for her 14-year tenure as a Lancôme model, and for her roles in films such as Blue Velvet and Death Becomes Her.-Background and early life:Rossellini is a...

, which has become a minor camp classic.

Political activism

A number of Mailer's nonfiction works, such as The Armies of the Night and The Presidential Papers, are political. He covered the Republican
Republican National Convention
The Republican National Convention is the presidential nominating convention of the Republican Party of the United States. Convened by the Republican National Committee, the stated purpose of the convocation is to nominate an official candidate in an upcoming U.S...

 and Democratic National Convention
Democratic National Convention
The Democratic National Convention is a series of presidential nominating conventions held every four years since 1832 by the United States Democratic Party. They have been administered by the Democratic National Committee since the 1852 national convention...

s in 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1992, and 1996, although his account of the 1996 Democratic convention has never been published. In the early 1960s he was fixated on the figure of President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, whom he regarded as an "existential hero." In the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s and 1970s his work mingled autobiography, social commentary, history, fiction, and poetry in a formally original way that influenced the development of New Journalism
New Journalism
New Journalism was a style of 1960s and 1970s news writing and journalism which used literary techniques deemed unconventional at the time. The term was codified with its current meaning by Tom Wolfe in a 1973 collection of journalism articles he published as The New Journalism, which included...

. In October 1967, he was arrested for his involvement in an anti-Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 demonstration at the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

. In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.

At the December 15, 1971, taping of The Dick Cavett Show
The Dick Cavett Show
The Dick Cavett Show has been the title of several talk shows hosted by Dick Cavett on various television networks, including:* ABC daytime ...

, with Janet Flanner
Janet Flanner
Janet Flanner was an American writer and journalist who served as the Paris correspondent of The New Yorker magazine from 1925 until she retired in 1975. She wrote under the pen name "Genêt"...

 and Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal is an American author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and political activist. His third novel, The City and the Pillar , outraged mainstream critics as one of the first major American novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality...

, Mailer, annoyed with a less-than-stellar review by Vidal of Prisoner of Sex, apparently headbutted Vidal and traded insults with him backstage. As the show began taping, a visibly belligerent Mailer, who admitted he had been drinking, goaded Vidal and Cavett into trading insults with him on air and continually referred to his "greater intellect". He openly taunted and mocked Vidal (who responded in kind), finally earning the ire of Flanner, who announced that the discussion had become "extremely boring", telling Mailer "You act as if you're the only people here." As Cavett made jokes comparing Mailer's intellect to his ego, Mailer stated "Why don't you look at your question sheet and ask your question?", to which Cavett responded "Why don't you fold it 5 ways and shove it where the moon don't shine."

The headbutting and later on-air altercation was described by Mailer himself in his essay "Of a Small and Modest Malignancy, Wicked and Bristling with Dots." The Wikipedia article about landmark episodes of the show states:


A 1971 interview with Norman Mailer was not going well. Mailer moved his chair away from the other guests (Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal is an American author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and political activist. His third novel, The City and the Pillar , outraged mainstream critics as one of the first major American novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality...

 and Janet Flanner
Janet Flanner
Janet Flanner was an American writer and journalist who served as the Paris correspondent of The New Yorker magazine from 1925 until she retired in 1975. She wrote under the pen name "Genêt"...

), and Cavett joked that "perhaps you'd like two more chairs to contain your giant intellect?" Mailer replied "I'll take the two chairs if you'll all accept finger-bowls." Mailer later said to Cavett "Why don't you look at your question sheet and ask your question?", to which Cavett replied "Why don't you fold it five ways and put it where the moon don't shine?"

A long laugh ensued, after which Mailer asked Cavett if he had come up with that line and Cavett replied "I have to tell you a quote from Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist...

?".


In 1980, Mailer spearheaded convicted killer Jack Abbott
Jack Abbott
Jack Henry Abbott was an American criminal and author. He was released from prison in 1981 after gaining praise for his writing and being lauded by a number of high-profile literary critics, including author Norman Mailer...

's successful bid for parole
Parole
Parole may have different meanings depending on the field and judiciary system. All of the meanings originated from the French parole . Following its use in late-resurrected Anglo-French chivalric practice, the term became associated with the release of prisoners based on prisoners giving their...

. In 1977, Abbott had read about Mailer's work on The Executioner's Song
The Executioner's Song
The Executioner's Song is a 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Norman Mailer that depicts the events surrounding the execution of Gary Gilmore by the state of Utah for murder. The title of the book may be a play on "The Lord High Executioner's Song" from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado...

and wrote to Mailer, offering to enlighten the author about Abbott's time behind bars and the conditions he was experiencing. Mailer, impressed, helped to publish In the Belly of the Beast, a book on life in the prison system consisting of Abbott's letters to Mailer. Once paroled, Abbott committed a murder in New York City six weeks after his release, stabbing to death 22-year-old Richard Adan. Consequently, Mailer was subject to criticism for his role. In a 1992 interview with the Buffalo News, he conceded that his involvement was "another episode in my life in which I can find nothing to cheer about or nothing to take pride in."

In 1989, Mailer joined with a number of other prominent authors in publicly expressing support for colleague Salman Rushdie in the wake of the fatwa
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

calling for Rushdie's assassination issued by Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

's Islamic government for his having authored The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie's fourth novel, first published in 1988 and inspired in part by the life of Prophet Muhammad. As with his previous books, Rushdie used magical realism and relied on contemporary events and people to create his characters...

.

In 2003, in a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, just before the invasion of Iraq, Mailer said: "Fascism
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 is more of a natural state than democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

. To assume blithely that we can export democracy into any country we choose can serve paradoxically to encourage more fascism at home and abroad. Democracy is a state of grace that is attained only by those countries who have a host of individuals not only ready to enjoy freedom but to undergo the heavy labor of maintaining it."

From 1980 until his death in 2007, he contributed to Democratic Party candidacies for political office.

Mayoral campaign

In 1969, at the suggestion of Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem
Gloria Marie Steinem is an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader of, and media spokeswoman for, the women's liberation movement in the late 1960s and 1970s...

, his friend the political essayist Noel Parmentel
Noel Parmentel
Noel E. Parmentel, Jr., was a leading figure on the New York political journalism, literary, and cultural scene during the third quarter of the 20th Century....

 and others, he ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic Party primary for Mayor of New York City
Mayor of New York City
The Mayor of the City of New York is head of the executive branch of New York City's government. The mayor's office administers all city services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and enforces all city and state laws within New York City.The budget overseen by the...

, allied with columnist Jimmy Breslin
Jimmy Breslin
Jimmy Breslin is an American journalist and author. He currently writes a column for the New York Daily News' Sunday edition. He has written numerous novels, and columns of his have appeared regularly in various newspapers in his hometown of New York City...

 (who ran for City Council President), proposing the creation a 51st state
51st state
The 51st state, in United States political discourse, is a phrase that refers to areas either seriously or derisively considered candidates for addition to the 50 states already part of the United States. Before 1959, when Alaska and Hawaii joined the U.S., the term "the 49th state" was used...

 through New York City secession
New York City secession
There are and have been several secession movements in New York state. The most prominent amongst these have been the movements for a state of New York City, a state of Long Island, a state of Niagara , and a state of Upstate New York....

. Although Mailer took stands on a wide range of issues, from opposing "compulsory fluoridation
Water fluoridation
Water fluoridation is the controlled addition of fluoride to a public water supply to reduce tooth decay. Fluoridated water has fluoride at a level that is effective for preventing cavities; this can occur naturally or by adding fluoride...

 of the
water supply" to advocating the release of Black Panther Party
Black Panther Party
The Black Panther Party wasan African-American revolutionary leftist organization. It was active in the United States from 1966 until 1982....

 leader Huey Newton, decentralization
Decentralization
__FORCETOC__Decentralization or decentralisation is the process of dispersing decision-making governance closer to the people and/or citizens. It includes the dispersal of administration or governance in sectors or areas like engineering, management science, political science, political economy,...

 was the overriding issue of the campaign. Mailer "foresaw the city, its independence secured, splintering into townships and neighborhoods, with their own school systems, police departments, housing programs, and governing philosophies." Their slogan was "throw the rascals in". Mailer was endorsed by libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 economist Murray Rothbard
Murray Rothbard
Murray Newton Rothbard was an American author and economist of the Austrian School who helped define capitalist libertarianism and popularized a form of free-market anarchism he termed "anarcho-capitalism." Rothbard wrote over twenty books and is considered a centrally important figure in the...

, who "believed that 'smashing the urban government apparatus and fragmenting it into a myriad of constituent fragments' offered the only answer to the ills plaguing American cities," and called Mailer's campaign “the most refreshing libertarian political campaign in decades.” He came in fourth in a field of five. Looking back on the campaign, journalist and historian Theodore White called it "one of the most serious campaigns run in the United States in the last five years. . . . [H]is campaign was considered and thoughtful, the beginning of an attempt to apply ideas to a political situation."

Biographical subjects

His biographical subjects included Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

, Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist...

, Gary Gilmore
Gary Gilmore
Gary Mark Gilmore was an American criminal, and murderer, who gained international notoriety for demanding that his own death sentence be fulfilled following two murders he committed in Utah. He became the first person executed in the United States after the U.S...

, Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald was, according to four government investigations,These were investigations by: the Federal Bureau of Investigation , the Warren Commission , the House Select Committee on Assassinations , and the Dallas Police Department. the sniper who assassinated John F...

, and Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, singer, model and showgirl who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s....

.

His 1973 Marilyn was particularly controversial. Arthur Miller, playwright and former husband to Marilyn Monroe, wrote in his 1987 autobiography Timebends of Mailer's biography that, "[Marilyn] was himself in drag, acting out his own Hollywood fantasies of fame and sex unlimited and power." In addition, the book's final chapter states that Monroe was murdered by agents of the FBI and CIA who resented her supposed affair with Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

.

The biography was enormously successful, selling more copies than any of his works except The Naked and the Dead. It stayed in print for decades, but was out of print in the United States.

(Two works he co-wrote presented imagined words and thoughts in Monroe's voice; these were the 1980 book Of Women and Their Elegance and the 1986 play Strawhead
Strawhead
Strawhead is a play by American writers Norman Mailer and Richard Hannum about Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe. The play is a stage adaptation of Mailer's 1980 book, Of Women and Their Elegance, an imaginary memoir told in Monroe's voice....

, which was produced off Broadway with his daughter, Kate Mailer
Kate Mailer
Kate Mailer is an American stage and film actress who is the daughter of American author-playwright Norman Mailer and third wife journalist, Lady Jeanne Campbell, eldest daughter of the 11th Duke of Argyll...

, starring.)

Marriages and children

Norman Mailer was married six times and had nine children. He fathered eight children by his various wives and also raised and informally adopted Norris' son from another marriage, Matthew.

Norman's first marriage was in 1944, to Beatrice Silverman, whom he divorced in 1952. They had one child, Susan.

Mailer married his second wife, Adele Morales
Adele Morales
Adele Morales is an American painter and memoirist; she is best known as the second wife of American author-playwright Norman Mailer....

, in 1954. They had two daughters, Danielle and Elizabeth. Mailer was violent to his wife. He was at one time involuntarily committed to Bellevue Hospital for 17 days; his wife would not press charges, and he later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assault, and was given a suspended sentence. While in the short term, Morales made a physical recovery, in 1997 she published a memoir of their marriage entitled The Last Party
The Last Party
The Last Party is a 1997 book by Adele Morales, second wife of Norman Mailer, whom she married in 1954. It was published in the US by Barricade Books....

, which recounted her husband stabbing her at a party and the aftermath. This incident has been a focal point for feminist critics of Mailer, who point to themes of sexual violence in his work.

His third wife, whom he married in 1962, and divorced in 1963, was the British heiress and journalist Lady Jeanne Campbell
Jeanne Campbell
Lady Jeanne Louise Campbell was a British socialite and foreign correspondent who wrote for the Evening Standard in the 1950s and 1960s.-Background:...

 (1929–2007), the only daughter of Ian Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll
Ian Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll
Ian Douglas Campbell, 11th and 4th Duke of Argyll was a Scottish Peer. He was the 11th Duke of Argyll, but is chiefly remembered for his unhappy marriage to and scandalous 1963 divorce from Margaret Whigham.-Early life:...

 and a granddaughter of the press baron Lord Beaverbrook. The couple had a daughter, Kate Mailer
Kate Mailer
Kate Mailer is an American stage and film actress who is the daughter of American author-playwright Norman Mailer and third wife journalist, Lady Jeanne Campbell, eldest daughter of the 11th Duke of Argyll...

, who is an actress.

His fourth marriage, in 1963, was to Beverly Bentley, a former model turned actress. She was the mother of his producer son Michael Mailer
Michael Mailer
Michael Mailer is a film producer and the oldest son of Beverly Bentley and writer Norman Mailer. He graduated from Harvard in 1987. He has produced over 20 films. He has five sisters and three brothers. He is the founder and president of Michael Mailer Films...

 and his actor son Stephen Mailer
Stephen Mailer
Stephen McLeod Mailer is an American stage and screen actor. His credits include appearances in films like A League of Their Own, Cry Baby, and Baby Mama, and the television shows Gilmore Girls and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Mailer was born in New York City, New York, the son of novelist...

. They divorced in 1980.

His fifth wife was Carol Stevens, a jazz singer whom he married on November 7, 1980, and divorced in Haiti on November 8, 1980, thereby legitimating their daughter Maggie, born in 1971.

His sixth and last wife, whom he married in 1980, was Norris Church Mailer
Norris Church Mailer
Norris Church Mailer was the widow of American novelist, Norman Mailer, and author of the memoir, A Ticket to the Circus, and of several novels.Before her relationship with Mailer, she married Larry Norris, gave birth to son Matthew in 1972, and was divorced in 1975...

 (née Barbara Davis, 1949–2010), an art teacher. In her autobiography A Ticket to the Circus, Norris Church recounts of a rape and a miscarriage. They had one son together, John Buffalo Mailer
John Buffalo Mailer
John Buffalo Mailer is an American author, playwright, actor, producer, and journalist.-Life and career:Mailer was born in Brooklyn, the youngest child of novelist Norman Mailer and author Norris Church Mailer. Mailer is a graduate of Wesleyan University. He has written several screenplays and...

, a writer and actor, and Mailer informally adopted Matthew Norris, her son by her first husband, Larry Norris. Living in Brooklyn, New York and Provincetown, Massachusetts with Mailer, Church worked as a model, wrote and painted.

Works with his children

In 2005, Mailer co-wrote a book with his youngest child, John Buffalo Mailer, entitled The Big Empty.

Mailer appeared in an episode of Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls is an American family comedy-drama series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. On October 5, 2000, the series debuted on The WB and was cancelled in its seventh season, ending on May 15, 2007 on The CW...

entitled "Norman Mailer, I'm Pregnant!" with his son Stephen Mailer.

Death and legacy

Mailer died of acute renal failure
Acute renal failure
Acute kidney injury , previously called acute renal failure , is a rapid loss of kidney function. Its causes are numerous and include low blood volume from any cause, exposure to substances harmful to the kidney, and obstruction of the urinary tract...

 on November 10, 2007, a month after undergoing lung surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital
Mount Sinai Hospital, New York
Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the United States. In 2011-2012, Mount Sinai Hospital was ranked as one of America's best hospitals by U.S...

 in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

, New York.

The papers of the two-time Pulitzer Prize author may be found at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin.

In 2008, Carole Mallory
Carole Mallory
Carole Mallory is an American author, actress and former model who appeared in the films Looking for Mr. Goodbar and The Stepford Wives...

, a former mistress, sold seven boxes of documents and photographs to Harvard University, Norman Mailer's Alma Mater. They contain extracts of her letters, books and journals.

In 2008, The Norman Mailer Center and The Norman Mailer Writers Colony, a non-profit organization for educational purposes, was established to honor Norman Mailer. Among its programs is the Norman Mailer Prize
Norman Mailer Prize
The Norman Mailer Prize or Mailer Prize is an American literary award established in 2009 by The Norman Mailer Center and The Norman Mailer Writers Colony to celebrate writers and their works...

 established in 2009.

Cultural references

In the comedy Sleeper
Sleeper
A sleeper is a person who is sleeping. It may also refer to:-Music:* Sleeper , a Britpop band in the 1990s* The Sleepers , a punk/post-punk band active from 1978 until 1981...

, Woody Allen
Woody Allen
Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright. Allen's films draw heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema...

 remarks that Mailer "donated his ego to the Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts....

." He's referenced in the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group's musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk, hip hop and psychedelic rock...

 song "Animal Bar" in the lyrics "Ever loving mug of Mr. Norman Mailer". Singer Lloyd Cole
Lloyd Cole
Lloyd Cole is an English singer and songwriter, known for his role as lead singer of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions from 1984 to 1989, and for his subsequent solo work.-Early life:...

 referenced Mailer in the song, "Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken
Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken
"Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken" is a song by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions later covered by Sandie Shaw in 1986. Shaw had made a comeback two years earlier thanks to Morrissey and Johnny Marr of The Smiths and having released a cover of their song "Hand in Glove" discussed making an album with...

" with the line, "If you really want to get straight, read Norman Mailer, or get a new tailor." Rapper Talib Kweli
Talib Kweli
Talib Kweli Greene , better known as Talib Kweli, is an American hip-hop artist and poet from Brooklyn, New York. His first name in Arabic means "student" or "seeker" ; his in Swahili means "true"...

, in single Get By, proclaims to "paint a picture with the pen like Norman Mailer".

Fiction

Novels
  • The Naked and the Dead
    The Naked and the Dead
    The Naked and the Dead is a 1948 novel by Norman Mailer. It was based on his experiences with the 112th Cavalry Regiment during the Philippines Campaign in World War II...

    . New York: Rinehart, 1948.
  • Barbary Shore
    Barbary Shore
    Barbary Shore is Norman Mailer's second published novel, written after Mailer's great success with his 1948 debut The Naked and the Dead. It concerns a protagonist who rents a room in a Brooklyn boarding house with the intention of writing a novel. Wounded during World War II, he is an amnesiac,...

    . New York: Rinehart, 1951.
  • The Deer Park
    The Deer Park
    The Deer Park is a Hollywood novel written by Norman Mailer and published in 1955 by G.P. Putnam's Sons after it was rejected by Mailer's publisher, Rinehart & Company, for obscenity. Despite having already typeset the book, Rinehart claimed that the manuscript's obscenity voided its contract with...

    . New York: Putnam's, 1955.
  • An American Dream
    An American Dream
    An American Dream is Norman Mailer's fourth novel, published by Dial Press. Mailer wrote it in serialized form for Esquire, consciously attempting to resurrect the methodology used by Charles Dickens and other earlier novelists, with Mailer writing each chapter against monthly deadlines...

    . New York: Dial, 1965.
  • Why Are We in Vietnam?
    Why Are We in Vietnam?
    Why Are We In Vietnam? is a 1967 novel written by the American author Norman Mailer. The action focuses on a hunting trip to the Brooks Range in Alaska where a young man is brought by his father, a wealthy businessman who works for a company that makes cigarette filters and is obsessed with killing...

    New York: Putnam's, 1967.
  • The Executioner's Song
    The Executioner's Song
    The Executioner's Song is a 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Norman Mailer that depicts the events surrounding the execution of Gary Gilmore by the state of Utah for murder. The title of the book may be a play on "The Lord High Executioner's Song" from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado...

    Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1979.
  • Of Women and Their Elegance. New York, Simon and Schuster, 1980
  • Ancient Evenings
    Ancient Evenings
    Ancient Evenings is a novel by American author Norman Mailer. It deals with the lives of two protagonists, one young, one old, in a very alien Ancient Egypt marked by journeys by the dead, reincarnation, and violent and hyper-sexual gods and mortals in a complex combination of historical fiction,...

    . Boston: Little, Brown, 1983.
  • Tough Guys Don't Dance. New York: Random House, 1984.
  • Harlot's Ghost
    Harlot's Ghost
    Harlot's Ghost , a fictional chronicle of the Central Intelligence Agency by Norman Mailer. The characters are a mixture of real people and fictional figures.-Summary:...

    . New York: Random House, 1991.
  • The Gospel According to the Son
    The Gospel According to the Son
    The Gospel According to the Son is a 1997 novel by Norman Mailer. It purports to be the story of Jesus Christ, told autobiographically.-Plot summary:...

    . New York: Random House, 1997.
  • The Castle in the Forest
    The Castle in the Forest
    The Castle in the Forest is the last novel by writer Norman Mailer, published in the year of his death, 2007. It is the story of Adolf Hitler's childhood as seen through the eyes of Dieter, a demon sent to put him on his destructive path. The novel explores the idea that Hitler had no Jewish...

    . New York: Random House, 2007.


Plays
  • The Deer Park: A Play. New York: Dial, 1967.


Short Stories
  • The Short Fiction of Norman Mailer. New York: Dell, 1967.

Non-fiction

General non-fiction
  • The Armies of the Night. New York: New American Library, 1968.
  • Miami and the Siege of Chicago: An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968
    Miami and the Siege of Chicago
    Miami and the Siege of Chicago: An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968 is a non-fiction novel written by Norman Mailer.-External links:* in Commentary...

    . New York: New American Library, 1968.
  • Of a Fire on the Moon
    Of a Fire on the Moon
    Of a Fire on the Moon is a work of non-fiction by Norman Mailer which was serialised in Life magazine in 1969 and 1970, and published in 1970 as a book...

    . Boston: Little, Brown, 1970.
  • The Prisoner of Sex. Boston: Little, Brown, 1971.
  • St. George and The Godfather. New York: Signet Classics, 1972.
  • The Faith of Graffiti. New York: Praeger, 1974.
  • The Fight. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1975.
  • Of a Small and Modest Malignancy, Wicked and Bristling with Dots. Northridge, CA: Lord John Press, 1980.
  • Why Are We At War?. New York: Random House, 2003 ISBN 978-0812971118
  • The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing. New York: Random House, 2003.
  • The Big Empty: Dialogues on Politics, Sex, God, Boxing, Morality, Myth, Poker and Bad Conscience in America. New York: Nation Books, 2006
  • On God: An Uncommon Conversation. New York: Random House, 2007 ISBN 978-1400067329


Essay collections
  • Advertisements for Myself
    Advertisements for Myself
    Advertisements for Myself is an omnibus collection of short works and fragments by Norman Mailer, linked with commentaries supplied by the author himself. The collection, which was published by G.P...

    . New York: Putnam's, 1959.
  • The Presidential Papers.New York: Putnam, 1963.
  • Cannibals and Christians. New York: Dial, 1966.
  • Pieces and Pontifications. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1982.


Biographies
  • Marilyn: A Biography. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1973.
  • Portrait of Picasso as a Young Man: An Interpretive Biography. Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995.
  • Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery
    Oswald's Tale
    Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery is a 1995 non-fiction book by Norman Mailer, ISBN 0-679-42535-7. It amounts to a detailed biography of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of US President John F. Kennedy...

    . New York: Random House, 1996 ISBN 978-0679425359


Famous essays and articles
  • "The White Negro". San Francisco: City Lights, 1957.

Further reading

  • Norman Mailer by Michael K. Glenday. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995.
  • Radical Fictions and the Novels of Norman Mailer by Nigel Leigh. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990.
  • Norman Mailer: Works and Days by J. Michael and Donna P. Lennon. Westport, MA: Sligo Press, 2000. Comprehensive, annotated primary and secondary bibliography with life chronology.
  • Norman Mailer: The Man and His Work, edited by Robert F. Lucid. Boston: Little, Brown. The first collection of essays on Mailer.
  • Norman Mailer by Philip Bufithis. New York: Ungar, 1978. Perhaps the most readable and reliable study of Mailer's early work.
  • Acts of Regeneration: Allegory and Archetype in the Works of Norman Mailer by Robert J. Begiebing. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1980. Fine discussion of Mailer's "heroic consciousness."
  • The Enduring Vision of Norman Mailer by Barry H. Leeds. Bainbridge, WA: Pleasure Boat Studio, 2002.
  • Political Fiction and the American Self by John Whalen-Bridge. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. Subtle examination of Mailer's dual aptitude of representing and resisting American mythologies.
  • Critical Essays on Norman Mailer, edited by J.Michael Lennon: Boston, G.K.Hall and Co., 1986.
  • Norman Mailer, by Richard Poirier. New York: Viking,1972. One of the best studies of Mailer's writing, tracking his career through the early Eighties.
  • Norman Mailer by Richard Jackson Foster. University of Minnesota Press, 1968. Pamphlet.
  • The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer by Barry H. Leeds, New York University Press,1969.
  • Norman Mailer Revisited by Robert Merrill. Twayne, 1992. Contains perhaps the best analysis of The Executioner's Song
  • Mailer: His Life and Times, edited by Peter Manso. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985. Highly readable, but controversial "oral" biography of Mailer created by cross-cutting interviews with friends, enemies, acquaintances, relatives, wives of Mailer and Mailer himself.
  • Conversations with Norman Mailer, edited by J. Michael Lennon. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1988.
  • Norman Mailer: A Collection of Critical Essays edited by Leo Braudy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1972. Contains useful insights on Miami and the Siege of Chicago.
  • Existential Battles: The Growth of Norman Mailer by Laura Adams. Athens: University of Ohio Press, 1976. Good discussion of early narrators.
  • Time to Murder and Create: The Contemporary Novel in Crisis by John W. Aldridge. New York: David McKay, 1966. Contains Aldridge's important essay on An American Dream.
  • The Portable Beat Reader, edited by Ann Charters, Penguin Books. New York. 1992. ISBN 0-670-83885-3 (hc); ISBN 0-14-015102-8 (pbk). Contains "The White Negro."
  • The Norman Mailer Review, edited by Phillip Sipiora. New periodical co-sponsored by the University of South Florida and The Norman Mailer Society (www.normanmailersociety.com).
  • The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture: Francis Irby Gwaltney http://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=3034
  • Van A. Tyson http://www.atkinschronicle.com/vantyson.htm


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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