Westport author, Dawn Tripp, and Partners Village Store present the Writer’s Series. The event will be a dynamic, open and interactive discussion with the author about the writing process, the work of creating a story, and …
Norman Mailer: A Double Life by J. Michael Lennon, Mailer archivist and authorized biographer will appear on Sunday, April 27, 3:00 – 5:00 pm. Call Partners to reserve a seat for this FREE writers series: 508-636-2572.
Over a career that has spanned six decades, Norman Mailer has been a literary force to be reckoned with–from The Naked and the Dead, in 1948, to his notable presence in New Journalism, to his current and most controversial feat, The Castle in the Forest. In his first novel in more than 10 years, the Pulitzer Prize–winning paladin deftly blends fact and fiction to tackle his greatest villain yet: Adolf Hitler. Here, the 83-year-old reflects on inanition, Anna Karenina, and Texas Hold ‘Em.
Norman Mailer’s answers to the Proust Questionnaire.
In 1963, a sixteen-year-old San Diego high school student named Bruce McAllister sent a four-question mimeographed survey to 150 well-known authors of literary, commercial, and science fiction. Did they consciously plant symbols in their work? he asked. Who noticed symbols appearing from their subconscious, and who saw them arrive in their text, unbidden, created in the minds of their readers? When this happened, did the authors mind?
A Conversation with J. Michael Lennon by Phillip Sipiora.
J. Michael Lennon’s authorized biography, Norman Mailer: A Double Life, was published by Simon & Schuster on October 15, 2013. This interview took place over two days in late July 2013.
Sipiora: When and where did you meet Norman for the first time? What were your first impressions of him, both as a person and as a celebrated author?
Lennon: I met Norman in the early fall of 1972 at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. I had corresponded with him before that. I wrote to him after I saw him on the Dick Cavett show where he got into his famous fight with Gore Vidal, and felt impelled to tell him how much I thought he had been wronged by Vidal on the air. He wrote back and said that he was going to be speaking in Illinois not far from the University of Illinois-Springfield where I was teaching a Mailer seminar. So, several members of the seminar drove up with me to hear him speak. This was just before the election. McGovern was running against Nixon and the country was in ferment.
When I was a little queerling (this was fifteen years ago now - okay, twenty…) Norman Mailer was considered the enemy of the gay community; always a macho posturer, Mailer had once allegedly made some offhand comment about how gay men had somehow taken the easy way out by opting not to be with women. Given the humourless tone of gay officialdom in those days (unlike today, he wrote, rolling his eyes so hard he almost gave himself a stroke) Mailer’s comment wasn’t even permitted enough context in which to grow, let alone be understood…