1923-2007, American novelist, nonfiction writer, essayist, screenwriter, literary critic, movie director, ex political candidate.

Born in New Jersey, he went to school at Harvard. There he got his first interest in writing. In 1944, he was inducted into the Army which gave him the inspiration to write his first novel. He won early renown with his World War II novel The Naked and the Dead (1948). It spent 11 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. It is here that his career in Literary Journalism began. In 1954 he helped found The Village Voice and contributed a column to it for a time. But after some time, he was asked to leave.

His sharp views of American society are reflected not only in such semiautobiographical novels as An American Dream 1966 but also in The Armies of the Night 1968; Pulitzer, a journalistic account of the 1967 peace march on Washington, and The Executioner's Song - 1979 (Pulitzer Prize), a novelistic treatment of the convicted killer Gary Gilmore.

It was while he was working on the Gilmore novel that he received a letter from a certain inmate named Jack Henry Abbott. He was impressed with Abbott's prose and began to use his influence to get the novel In the Belly of the Beast published; and ultimately to get Jack released from prison. The parolee ended up killing a waitor in a restaurant and eventually landed back in jail.

Mailer won a spot on the Modern Library's 100 Best Books: Fiction for The Naked and the Dead. It remained on top of the New York Times bestseller list for 11 weeks.

He died on November 10th, 2007 of acute kidney failure.

Books he wrote:

Falls under the category of Books that will induce a mindfuck.

Related nodes:


book jacket, Mailer, Norman, "Ancient Evenings", Random House, NY, 1991 book jacket, Mailer, Norman, "Harlot's Ghost", Random House, NY, 1991 http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/mailer_n.html Last Updated 04.15.04

My wife's uncle used to be married to Norman Mailer's daughter. When my wife was eleven, her family visited his house. In his house, Mailer had one of those fiendishly difficult puzzles in which you attempt to remove as many pegs as you can from a board by jumping over them with other pegs. Bored with the adult conversation in the famous author's living room, the future Mrs. Whiptail spent about four hours solving the peg puzzle. Puzzle finally solved, with all but one peg removed from the board, she brought it in to show the adults. Mailer, having been previously unable to solve it himself, expressed condescending disbelief that she had actually done it.

She's been peeved at him ever since.

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