Biography

A Sampling of Letters

The New Yorker published a sampling of letters by Norman Mailer that they call “In the Ring: Grappling with the Twentieth Century“:

From his service in the Second World War until not long before his death, last year, Mailer in his correspondence tirelessly addressed the political themes of his time.

Here’s a sample, from a letter to the editor of Playboy, where he takes offense at being called a “liberal”:

December 21, 1962

Dear Sir,

I wish you hadn’t billed the debate between William Buckley and myself as a meeting between a conservative and a liberal. I don’t care if people call me a radical, a rebel, a red, a revolutionary, an outsider, an outlaw, a Bolshevik, an anarchist, a nihilist, or even a left conservative, but please don’t ever call me a liberal.
Yours,
Norman Mailer