Barry Leeds, a professor and prominent Mailer scholar, has spent his
seven decades decoding the relationship between literature and life, and
now in A Moveable Beast: Scenes from My Life
(AuthorHouse, 2014) he offers the connections that have driven him. The
cover photograph shows the large and dominant figure of Leeds watching
over his tiny daughter on the edge of a swimming pool. However much
Mailer made madness into a form of vitality, Leeds shows how vitality is
a higher form of morality. Many of the “scenes” Leeds recalls show his
courage in standing up against bullying, racism, ignorance, and obtuse
arrogance. In his terse and trenchant memoir, less than two hundred
pages, he takes us through the fifty states in the union, offering vivid
glimpses of key moments, as if he is a man ready to die and must
recapitulate what must not be forgotten. Leeds is vice president of the
Norman Mailer Society, founded to sustain the memory of one of
Provincetown’s most important writers. Mailer, if he were alive, would
praise this book.

—from The Provincetown Arts, Vol. 29 (Thanks to Chris Busa)