Mailer, Norman (Kinsley) 1923-
MAILER, Norman (Kinsley) 1923-
PERSONAL: Born January 31, 1923, in Long Branch, NJ; son of Isaac Barnett (an accountant) and Fanny (owner of a small business; maiden name, Schneider) Mailer; married Beatrice Silverman, 1944 (divorced, 1952); married Adele Morales (an artist), 1954 (divorced, 1962); married Lady Jeanne Campbell, 1962 (divorced, 1963); married Beverly Rentz Bentley (an actress), 1963 (divorced, 1980); married Carol Stevens, 1980 (divorced, 1980); married Norris Church (an artist), 1980; children: (first marriage) Susan; (second marriage) Danielle, Elizabeth Anne; (third marriage) Kate; (fourth marriage) Michael Burks, Stephen McLeod; (fifth marriage) Maggie Alexandra; (sixth marriage) John Buffalo. Education: Harvard University, S.B. (cum laude), 1943; graduate studies at Sorbonne, University of Paris, 1947-48. Politics: "Left Conservative." Hobbies and other interests: Skiing, sailing, boxing, hiking.
ADDRESSES: Office—c/o Author Mail, Random House, 201 East 50th St., New York, NY 10022-7703.
CAREER: Writer. Producer, director, and actor in films, including Wild 90, 1967, and Maidstone: A Mystery, 1968; producer, Beyond the Law, 1967; actor, Ragtime, 1981; director, Tough Guys Don't Dance, 1987. Lecturer at colleges and universities; University of Pennsylvania Pappas fellow, 1983. Candidate for democratic nomination in mayoral race, New York City, 1960 and 1969. Cofounding editor of Village Voice, 1955; founder, Fifth Estate (merged with Committee for Action Research on the Intelligence Community), 1973. Military service: U.S. Army, 1944-46, field artillery observer; became infantry rifleman serving in the Philippines and Japan.
MEMBER: PEN (president of American Center, 1984-86), American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, National Institute of Arts and Letters.
AWARDS, HONORS: Story magazine college fiction prize, 1941, for "The Greatest Thing in the World"; National Institute and American Academy grant in literature, 1960; elected to National Institute of Arts and Letters, 1967; National Book Award nomination, 1967, for Why Are We in Vietnam?; National Book Award for nonfiction, 1968, for Miami and the Siegeof Chicago; National Book Award for nonfiction, Pulitzer prize in letters, general nonfiction, and George Polk Award, all 1969, all for Armies of the Night; Edward MacDowell Medal, MacDowell Colony, 1973, for outstanding service to arts; National Arts Club Gold Medal, 1976; National Book Critics Circle nomination, Notable Book citation from the American Library Association, and Pulitzer prize in letters, all 1979, and American Book Award nomination, 1980, all for The Executioner's Song; Emmy nomination for best adaptation, for screenplay of The Executioner's Song; University of Pennsylvania Pappas fellow; Rose Award, Lord and Taylor, 1985, for public accomplishment; Emerson-Thoreau Medal for lifetime literary achievement from American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1989.
The Naked and the Dead, Rinehart (New York, NY), 1948, reprinted, Holt (Orlando, FL), 1980.
Barbary Shore, Rinehart (New York, NY), 1951.
The Deer Park, Putnam (New York, NY), 1955, new edition, with preface and notes by Mailer, Berkley (New York, NY), 1976.
An American Dream (first published in serial form for Esquire, January-August, 1964), Dial (New York, NY), 1965.
Why Are We in Vietnam?, Putnam (New York, NY), 1967.
A Transit to Narcissus: A Facsimile of the Original Typescript with an Introduction by the Author, H. Fertig (New York, NY), 1978.
The Executioner's Song (excerpted in Playboy in 1979), Little, Brown (New York, NY), 1979.
Ancient Evenings, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 1983.
Tough Guys Don't Dance, Random House (New York, NY), 1984.
Harlot's Ghost, Random House (New York, NY), 1991.
The Gospel according to the Son, Random House (New York, NY), 1997.
The Armies of the Night: History As a Novel, the Novel As History, New American Library (New York, NY), 1968.
Miami and the Siege of Chicago, New American Library (New York, NY), 1968, published as Miami and the Siege of Chicago: An Informal History of the American Political Conventions of 1968, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1969.
Of a Fire on the Moon (first appeared in Life magazine), Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1970, published as A Fire on the Moon, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1970.
King of the Hill: On the Fight of the Century, New American Library (New York, NY), 1971.
St. George and the Godfather, New American Library (New York, NY), 1972.
The Fight, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1975.
How the Wimp Won the War, Lord John Press (London, England), 1991.
The Bullfight: A Photographic Narrative with Text by Norman Mailer (with recording of Mailer reading from text), CBS Legacy Collection/Macmillan (New York, NY), 1967.
The Prisoner of Sex (first published in Harper's magazine), Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1971.
Marilyn: A Biography, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 1973, new edition, with new chapter, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1975.
The Faith of Graffiti, photographs by Jon Naar, Praeger (New York, NY), 1974, published as Watching My Name Go By, Mathews Miller Dunbar (London, England), 1974.
(Editor and author of introductions) Genius and Lust: A Journey through the Major Writings of Henry Miller, Grove (New York, NY), 1976.
Of a Small and Modest Malignancy, Wicked and Bristling with Dots (essay), Lord John Press (London, England), 1980.
Huckleberry Finn: Alive at One Hundred (booklet; criticism), limited edition, Caliban Press (Montclair, NJ), 1985.
Pablo and Fernande: Portrait of Picasso As a Young Man: An Interpretive Biography, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1994, published as Portrait of Picasso As a Young Man: An Interpretive Biography, Atlantic Monthly Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery, Random House (New York, NY), 1995.
The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.
Why Are We At War?, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.
The Deer Park: A Play (two acts; adaptation of novel The Deer Park; produced Off-Broadway at Theater De Lys, 1967), Dell (New York, NY), 1967, adapted as Wild 90 (screenplay), Supreme Mix, 1967.
Beyond the Law (screenplay), Supreme Mix/Evergreen Films, 1968.
Maidstone: A Mystery (screenplay; includes essay "A Course in Filmmaking"), New American Library (New York, NY), 1971.
The Executioner's Song (screenplay), Film Communication Productions, 1982.
Tough Guys Don't Dance (screenplay), Zoetrope, 1987.
Strawhead (play), first produced at Actors Studio, January 3, 1985.
The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster (essays; includes "Communications: Reflections on Hipsterism"; "The White Negro" first published in Dissent magazine, summer, 1957), City Lights (San Francisco, CA), 1957.
Advertisements for Myself (short stories, verse, articles, and essays, with narrative; includes "The White Negro," "The Man Who Studied Yoga," and "The Time of Her Time"), Putnam (New York, NY), 1959, new edition, with preface by Mailer, Berkley (New York, NY), 1976.
The Presidential Papers, Putnam (New York, NY), 1963.
Cannibals and Christians, Dial (New York, NY), 1966, abridged edition, Panther, 1979.
The Short Fiction of Norman Mailer, Dell (New York, NY), 1967.
The Idol and the Octopus: Political Writings on the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations (includes selections from The Presidential Papers and Cannibals and Christians), Dell (New York, NY), 1968.
The Long Patrol: Twenty-five Years of Writing from the Work of Norman Mailer, edited by Robert F. Lucid, World (New York, NY), 1971.
Existential Errands (includes The Bullfight: A Photographic Narrative with Text by Norman Mailer, "A Course in Filmmaking," and King of the Hill; also see below), Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1972.
Some Honorable Men: Political Conventions 1960-1972 (narratives), Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1976.
The Essential Mailer (includes The Short Fiction of Norman Mailer and Existential Errands), New English Library (Kent, England), 1982.
Pieces and Pontifications (essays and interviews; includes The Faith of Graffiti and Of a Small and Modest Malignancy, Wicked and Bristling with Dots), edited by Michael Lennon, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1982, published as Pieces, 1982, published as Pontifications: Interviews, 1982.
The Time of Our Time, Random House (New York, NY), 1998.
Deaths for the Ladies and Other Disasters: Being a Run of Poems, Short Poems, Very Short Poems, and Turns of Prose, Putnam (New York, NY), 1962, new edition, with introduction by Mailer, New American Library (New York, NY), 1971.
Gargoyle, Guignol, False Closets (booklet; first published in Architectural Forum, April, 1964), privately printed, 1964.
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1967.
Of Women and Their Elegance (fictional interview), photographs by Milton H. Greene, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1980.
The Last Night: A Story (first published in Esquire, 1962), limited, signed edition, Targ Editions (New York, NY), 1984.
Also author of novel No Percentage, 1941, and of screenplay for a modern version of King Lear. Contributor to anthologies. Author of column for Esquire, "The Big Bite," 1962-63; columnist for Village Voice, January-May, 1956, and for Commentary, 1962-63. Contributor to numerous periodicals, including Harper's, Rolling Stone, New Republic, Playboy, New York Times Book Review, and Parade. Contributing editor of Dissent, 1953-69; cofounding editor of Village Voice, 1955.
ADAPTATIONS: The Naked and the Dead was made into a film by Warner Bros. in 1958; An American Dream was adapted for film as See You in Hell, Darling, produced by Warner Bros. in 1966.
SIDELIGHTS: When The Naked and the Dead, drawing on writer Norman Mailer's experiences in the Pacific theater during World War II, was published in 1948, New York Times critic Orville Prescott called it "the most impressive novel about the Second World War that I have ever read." The large, ambitious book was number one on the New York Times best-seller list for eleven consecutive weeks and was the object of continuing critical admiration. Mailer, then a twenty-five-year-old literary novice, was suddenly famous and at the dawn of a prolific career in which he would loom as one of the major U.S. writers of the twentieth century. He would also continue to be measured by others as well as by himself against his 1948 success. "I had the freak of luck to start high on the mountain, and go down sharp while others were passing me," Mailer would later write in the autobiographical Advertisements for Myself, published in 1959.
After publishing his second book, Barbary Shore, to generally unenthusiastic reviews, Mailer conceived an ambitious cycle of eight novels centering on a universal mythical hero he named Sergius O'Shaugnessy. The short story "The Man Who Studied Yoga" was designed as a prologue to the series, and The Deer Park, published in 1955, was to be its first installment. Three years in the making, The Deer Park, which Mailer later adapted for the stage, also proved to be the cycle's only volume. Primarily because of the work's overt sexuality, Mailer's original publisher refused to publish the novel, which is a study in the powers of art, sex, and money in a hedonist resort in southern California. Eventually, the work was accepted by Putnam. Reviews of The Deer Park were mixed, with Brendan Gill asserting in the New Yorker, "Only a writer of the greatest and most reckless talent could have flung it between covers."
Mailer published An American Dream in 1965. The story of a prominent professor of existential psychology who murders his wealthy wife, the novel was a great commercial success, albeit the object of intense critical controversy. Elizabeth Hardwick described it in the Partisan Review as "a very dirty book, dirty and extremely ugly," while John Aldridge's review in Life called the novel "a major creative breakthrough." The protagonist of An American Dream, Stephen Rojack, was loosely modeled after Mailer himself, reflecting the novelist's tendency to incorporate autobiographical elements within his fiction.
Another self-portrait appears in The Armies of the Night, a literary triumph that redeemed Mailer in the eyes of critics and won both the Pulitzer prize and the National Book Award. Richard Gilman's review in the New Republic applauded "the central, rather wonderful achievement of the book, that in it history and personality confront each other with a new sense of liberation."
In 1970 Mailer found himself portrayed as the archetypal male chauvinist pig in Kate Millett's ground-breaking feminist study Sexual Politics. In response, he participated in a debate on feminism at New York's Town Hall and authored The Prisoner of Sex, which, when first published in Harper's, resulted in the largest sales of any issue in the magazine's history, as well as in the departure of the magazine's editorial staff, who took objection to the work's offensive language. The Prisoner of Sex is one of several chapters in Mailer's continuous obsession with sexuality, along with his meditation on Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn and Of Women and Their Elegance. Praising The Prisoner of Sex as "Mailer's best book," New York Times critic Anatole Broyard asserted, "What Mailer has tried to do here is write a love poem." But Gore Vidal disagreed in the New York Review of Books, writing, "There has been from Henry Miller to Norman Mailer to Charles Manson a logical progression." Vidal's cutting remark not surprisingly ignited a sensational public feud between the two rival novelists.
Mailer attracted further public controversy when he successfully petitioned the Utah State Prison parole board to release Jack Henry Abbott, for whose book, In the Belly of the Beast, he had helped find a publisher. One month after leaving prison, Abbott killed another man, and Mailer was again sparring with the press. Mailer had first met Abbott while conducting exhaustive research for The Executioner's Song, a self-described "true life novel" about the life and death of Gary Gilmore, who, on January 17, 1977, became the first convict to be executed in the United States in more than a decade. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the work is the patient self-effacement of its author. Gone from The Executioner's Song are the familiar "Mailerisms": the baroque syntax, the hectoring tone, the outrageous epigrams, the startling bravura imagery, the political/metaphysical digressions, the self-conscious presence of the author in every line. Instead, Mailer's prose assumes the coloration of its huge cast of characters lawyers, policemen, doctors, journalists, as well as relatives, friends, and victims of Gary Gilmore and immerses the reader in the alarmingly ordinary world of its main character. The Executioner's Song was an extraordinary triumph, the second Mailer work to win a Pulitzer prize.
Mailer's characteristic intoxication with grandiose ideas, his delight in stylistic flourishes, and his preoccupation with sex and violence are again on display in Ancient Evenings. George Stade in the New Republic called Ancient Evenings "a new and permanent contribution to the possibilities of fiction and our communal efforts of self-discovery," while Benjamin DeMott dismissed it in the New York Times Book Review as "pitiably foolish in conception" and "a disaster." Mailer characteristically taunted his critics with a full-page advertisement for Ancient Evenings, juxtaposing scathing reviews of his novel with similar attacks on Herman Melville's Moby Dick, Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, and Charles-Pierre Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal.
During the 1980s Mailer positioned himself in the role of elder statesman of American letters. The feistiness was still there, but the aging enfant terrible was growing perceptibly more mellow and even courtly. Active in the writers' organization PEN, he became president of its American Center in 1984 and hosted the 1986 international PEN Congress in New York City. The gathering of some seven hundred authors from throughout the world proved to be a tumultuous event, and while fulfilling his presidential responsibilities, Mailer was again the lightning rod for public controversy. His decision to invite Secretary of State George Schultz to address the assembly of writers provoked fierce opposition. Mailer was also angrily attacked for his alleged sexism in assigning men a dominant position in the Congress program.
After seven years in the making, Mailer's 1,310-page novel Harlot's Ghost was published in 1991. A study of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its function within U.S. Cold War society, the novel was called by New York Times reporter Elaine Sciolino "a glorification of the godless, life-and-death struggle against Communism from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s and the men and women who waged it."
Critical reception to Harlot's Ghost was generally favorable, except with regard to the novel's length. Suggesting that the work should have ended in 1961, with a description of CIA operations during President John F. Kennedy's Bay of Pigs invasion, Wilfred Sheed added in his review for the New York Review of Books: "No doubt to end the book here would be false to the facts.… Still, it would be good for the novel, which after all, is not a perpetual motion machine, but is designed from the outset to go a certain distance, and not a heck of a lot farther. Even a novel about the Hundred Years' War has to end sometime, but Harlot's Ghost runs right over the sides of the frame as the author tries to cram more and more history into a manifestly finite picture." Louis Menand was more critical of the lengthy work, writing in the New Yorker that Mailer's ambition has destroyed his art. While praising the author's fearless examination of the Establishment during the 1960s and 1970s, Menand noted that "he has never written a book so flaccid or so unwilling to challenge and provoke as [Harlot's Ghost.]. He has set the bar at the highest level, taken a long look, and then walked underneath it." However, reviewer Thomas R. Edwards viewed the work from a different perspective in the New Republic, opining that Harlot's Ghost "advances a very imposing ideal of itself as being something like a religious epic, Mailer's Paradise Lost, as it were, in which the cold war would figure as the War in Heaven, the Creation, and the Fall."
Reflective of Mailer's interest in human sexuality as it relates to creativity, 1994's Portrait of Picasso As a Young Man sets out to uncover the inner life of the noted Spanish painter during the first thirty-five years of his life. The work, illustrated with numerous examples of Picasso's artwork, focuses on the erotic aspects of the artist's life, particularly his relationships with female and, Mailer contends, male lovers.
Portrait of Picasso was met by a strong critical backlash upon its publication. Foremost among the criticism was the author's indulgence in artistic criticism that was either derivative or deemed to be ill-founded. "What is most disturbing about Portrait of Picasso, however, is not its awkward assessment of Picasso's work," contended critic Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times, "but its even more awkward attempt to promote the notion that art redeems, that the cruelties and sins of a great artist can be rationalized, excused or glossed over." And, characteristically, Mailer's egotism enters into much of the criticism of the work. "Might Mailer be plumbing the mystery of Picasso's legendary sexual magnetism to measure, for the umpteenth time, the dynamics of his own 'phallitude'?" queried Francine du Plessix Gray in the Los Angeles Times. Commenting on the author's relative disregard for Picasso's artistic development in favor of an almost voyeuristic obsession with his personal relationships, Gray dubbed Portrait of Picasso "an impassioned, well-meaning, but curiously tentative and wobbly work." Robert Storr went further in his review of the work in the Washington Post Book World: "Though the clash of temperaments between Norman Mailer and his subject could not be more obvious, … the result reads like a big, shapeless first draft that … blatantly rehashes the ideas of just about everybody who has written about [Picasso] in the past while failing to bring anything fresh to our understanding."
Mailer's fascination with violence, which was given full reign in his earlier writing, resurfaces in 1995's Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery. The nonfiction work, Mailer's twenty-eighth published book, is a journalistic rather than quasi-fictional examination of the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, the assumed assassin of President John F. Kennedy. With characteristic obsessiveness, Mailer threw himself into the task of uncovering the truth about Oswald, a figure who has remained something of a mystery despite all the research into his 1963 crime. With the help of investigative reporter Lawrence Schiller, Mailer went to Russia to interview those who had known Oswald for the two years he resided in that country and examine KGB files in the city of Minsk, where Oswald lived between 1959 and 1962.
While praising the workmanlike quality of Oswald's Tale, Thomas Powers contended in the New York Times Book Review that by the end of the book, he was unable to be moved by Mailer's portrait of Oswald. "I admire Mailer for his effort to understand Oswald," wrote Powers, "but at some level I feel invited to place a sympathetic arm around the killer's shoulder, and I'm not about to do it.… He brought pain to many and happiness to none. Anger is what this makes me feel." However, John W. Aldridge cited Oswald's Tale as "the greatest body of information on the Oswalds yet attempted." While noting that Mailer's characteristic "sprawling" style might prove off-putting to some readers, Aldridge added that the work presents a clear, well-researched case and leaves the conclusions up to the reader. "That is the primary mission of journalism at its best, and Mailer performs it with all his customary skill and thoroughness, and a quite uncharacteristic determination to keep himself out of the story."
In 1997 Mailer published Gospel according to the Son, a first-person account of the life of Jesus, closely based on the events described in the New Testament. Mailer said in an interview with the New York Times Book Review's Bruce Weber that he considered the project "the largest dare of all" for a writer. Michiko Kakutani assessed the novel as just another installment in Mailer's self-centered exploration of fame and infamy. In the New York Times, Kakutani compared Mailer's Jesus to Luke Skywalker and a guest on Oprah, elaborating that Mailer had turned both Jesus and God "into familiar contemporary types: he has knocked them off their celestial thrones and turned them into what he knows best, celebrities." However, as always, the opinion on Mailer is sharply divided. A writer for Kirkus Reviews assessed the novel as "generally plainspoken and sometimes plodding," but found its "occasional flashes of Mailer's pugnacious intellectual gamesmanship" praiseworthy. A Booklist critic lauded Gospel for "[escaping] Mailer's own image" and called the book "limpid" and "nonflamboyant," "a provocatively imagined historical novel."
The Spooky Art: Thoughts on Writing was released on Mailer's eightieth birthday and was warmly received by critics. In it, Mailer reflects on the writer's craft using interviews, essays, lectures, and other pieces he has written spanning his tumultuous career. Writing for Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, William McKeen commented, "Just when most discriminating readers in the Western World have come to the conclusion that Norman Mailer is an insufferable blowhard, he publishes this book. The Spooky Art is a charming book, alternately egomaniacal (it is Norman Mailer, after all) and self-deprecating." Anne Larson in Kirkus Reviews shared similar opinions, asking rhetorically, "Will we ever hear such a thing again, in our pale and sheepish publishing age of today—such a good, strong, straight, fearless talk from an ambitious writer? Not often."
With his later books, as with his earlier ones, Mailer has by turns fascinated and angered his critics, who contend that his fame has been as much the result of his own self-aggrandizement as his writing talent. Though finding that much of his writing has quickly become dated due to its focus on current events, biographer and critic Harold Bloom characterized Mailer as "a historian of the moral consciousness of his era, and as the representative writer of his generation," in his foreword to the critical anthology Norman Mailer. And in the London Review of Books, Andrew O'Hagan praised the author for his courage and originality. "Norman Mailer has been as compulsive a literary character as we've had this half-century, but he has also been among the most compelling on the page," O'Hagan contended. "He has wasted much of his talent on money-spinning inelegance, and fruitless meanderings and quests into the mysteries of sex and destiny, but he has also risked and emboldened his talent by imagining himself at the core of things."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Adams, Laura, Mailer: A Comprehensive Bibliography, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1974.
Adams, Laura, Will the Real Norman Mailer Please Stand Up?, Kennikat Press (Port Washington, NY), 1974.
Adams, Laura, Existential Battles: The Growth of Norman Mailer, Ohio University Press (Athens, OH), 1976.
Algeo, Ann M., The Courtroom As Forum: Homicide Trials by Dreiser, Wright, Capote, and Mailer, P. Lang (New York, NY), 1996.
Alter, Robert, Motives for Fiction, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1984, pp. 46-60.
Amis, Martin, The Moronic Inferno and Other Visits to America, J. Cape (London, England), 1986, pp. 57-73.
Anderson, Chris, Style As Argument: Contemporary American Nonfiction, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1987, pp. 83-132.
Arlett, Robert, Epic Voices: Inner and Global Impulse in the Contemporary American and British Novel, Susquehanna University Press (Selingsgrove, PA), 1996.
Bailey, Jennifer, Norman Mailer: Quick-Change Artist, Harper (New York, NY), 1979.
Begiebing, Robert J., Acts of Regeneration: Allegory and Archetype in the Works of Norman Mailer, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1980.
Bloom, Harold, editor, Norman Mailer, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1986.
Braudy, Leo Beal, editor, Norman Mailer: A Collection of Critical Essays, Prentice Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1972.
Bufithis, Philip, Norman Mailer, Ungar (New York, NY), 1978.
Cohen, Sandy, Norman Mailer's Novels, Rodopi (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1979.
Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography: Broadening Views, 1968-1988, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1989.
Contemporaries, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1962.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 1, 1979, Volume 2, 1974, Volume 3, 1975, Volume 4, 1975, Volume 5, 1976, Volume 8, 1978, Volume 11, 1979, Volume 14, 1980, Volume 28, 1984, Volume 39, 1986, Volume 74, 1993.
Contemporary Novelists, 6th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
Contemporary Popular Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1995.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 2: American Novelists since World War II, 1978, Volume 16: The Beats: Literary Bohemians in Postwar America, 1983, Volume 28: Twentieth-Century American-Jewish Fiction Writers, 1984.
Dictionary of Literary Biography Documentary Series, Volume 3, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1983.
Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984.
Ehrlich, Robert, Norman Mailer: The Radical As Hipster, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1978.
Foster, Richard, Norman Mailer, University of Minnesota Press (Rochester, MN), 1968.
Friedman, Melvin, and Ben Siegel, editors, Traditions, Voices and Dreams: The American Novel since the 1960s, University of Delaware Press (Newark, DE), 1995.
Girgus, Sam B., The New Covenant: Jewish Writers and the American Idea, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1984, pp. 135-159.
Glenday, Michael K., Norman Mailer, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Gordon, Andrew, An American Dreamer: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Fiction of Norman Mailer, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (Rutherford, NJ), 1980.
Guest, David, Sentenced to Death: The American Novel and Capital Punishment, University Press of Mississippi (Jackson, MS), 1997.
Gutman, Stanley T., Mankind in Barbary: The Individual and Society in the Novels of Norman Mailer, University Press of New England (Hanover, NH), 1976.
Jackson, Richard, Norman Mailer, University of Minnesota Press (Rochester, MN), 1968.
Kazin, Alfred, Bright Book of Life: American Novelists and Storytellers from Hemingway to Mailer, Little Brown (Boston, MA), 1973.
Kellman, Steven G., Loving Reading: Erotics of the Text, Archon (Hamden, CT), 1985.
Kernan, Alvin B., The Imaginary Library: An Essay on Literature and Society, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1982.
Leeds, Barry H., The Structured Vision of Normal Mailer, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1969.
Leigh, Nigel, Radical Fictions and the Novels of Norman Mailer, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1990.
Lennon, J. Michael, editor, Critical Essays on Norman Mailer, G. K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1986.
Lennon, J. Michael, editor, Conversations with Norman Mailer, University Press of Mississippi (Jackson, MS), 1988.
Lounsberry, Barbara, The Art of Fact: Contemporary Artists of Nonfiction, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1990, pp. 139-189.
Lucid, Robert F., editor, Norman Mailer: The Man and his Work, Little Brown (Boston, MA), 1971.
Mailer, Adele, The Last Party: Scenes from My Life with Norman Mailer, Barricade Books (New York, NY), 1997.
Manso, Peter, Mailer: His Life and Times, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1985.
Merrill, Robert, Norman Mailer, Twayne (New York, NY), 1978.
Merrill, Robert, Norman Mailer Revisited, Twayne (New York, NY), 1992.
Middlebrook, Jonathan, Mailer and the Times of His Time, Bay Books (San Francisco, CA), 1976.
Millett, Kate, Sexual Politics, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1970.
Mills, Hilary, Mailer: A Biography, Empire (New York, NY), 1982.
Morton, Brian, Norman Mailer, Arnold (London, England), 1991.
Podhoretz, Norman, Ex-Friends: Falling Out with Allen Ginsberg, Lionel and Diana Trilling, Lillian Hellman, Hannah Arendt, and Norman Mailer, Free Pres (New York, NY), 1999.
Poirier, Richard, Norman Mailer, Viking (New York, NY), 1972.
Radford, Jean, Norman Mailer: A Critical Study, Barnes & Noble (New York, NY), 1975.
Rollyson, Carl, The Lives of Norman Mailer: A Biography, Paragon House (New York, NY), 1991.
Sokoloff, B. A., A Biography of Norman Mailer, Darby Books (Darby, PA), 1969.
Solotaroff, Robert, Down Mailer's Way, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 1974.
Sorkin, Adam J., editor, Politics and the Muse: Studies in the Politics of Recent American Literature, Bowling Green State University Popular Press (Bowling Green, OH), 1989, pp. 79-92.
Weatherby, William J., Squaring Off: Mailer vs. Baldwin, Mason/Charter (New York, NY), 1977.
Wenke, Joseph, Mailer's America, University Press of New England (Hanover, NH), 1987.
American Spectator, April, 1992, p. 78.
Atlantic, July, 1971; September, 1984; May, 1995, pp. 120-125.
Booklist, November 15, 1999, review of The Time of Our Time, p. 601.
Business Wire, April 9, 2003, review of Why Are We at War? p. 5228.
Chicago Tribune, December 20, 1982; September 21, 1987.
Commentary, April, 2003, Thomas L. Jeffers, "Down for the Count?," review of The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing, p. K2081.
Contemporary Review, January, 1999, review of The Time of Our Time, p. 56.
Esquire, June, 1966; December, 1968; June, 1986; May, 1995, p. 142.
Gentlemen's Quarterly, November, 1996, p. 332.
Harper's, June, 1999, review of The Executioner's Song, p. 76.
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Rake Online,http://www.rakemag.com/ November 22, 2003) review of The Spooky Art.*