Fall Arts Preview: Top 10 Books
The New York Observer lists its top ten books for this fall, including both Norman Mailer: A Double Life and Mind of an Outlaw. Congrats to Mike and Phil!
Norman Mailer: A Double Life
By J. Michael Lennon
(Simon & Schuster, Oct. 15)
Norman Mailer gets a massive critical reassessment at the hands of journalist (and the author’s longtime friend) J. Michael Lennon. This in-depth portrait reveals Mailer as simultaneously one of our more celebrated and reviled literary figures and thoroughly ahead of his time, often to a fault. Critics savaged him for being too obscene, too radical, too unfaithful to his initial promise as a sentimental realist in his debut, The Naked and the Dead. Mailer didn’t help matters by claiming to be the most talented writer ever to write in English and stabbing his second wife in the chest. Still, Mr. Lennon’s book does a nice job of offering a second opinion on some of Mailer’s less-appreciated works. Speaking of which …
Mind of an Outlaw
By Norman Mailer
(Random House, Oct. 15)
A 656-page collection of Mailer’s essays—including his most famous piece of short nonfiction, “The White Negro”—and also many long-uncollected works. Other essays include “A Credo for Living,” a writerly manifesto from 1948, and his dated, but oddly endearing, “The Homosexual Villain,” an apologia for the depiction of gay characters in his novels. Consider October to be Norman Mailer Revival Month.