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Norman Mailer - book author

Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director.

Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, but which covers the essay to the nonfiction novel. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice and the National Book Award once. In 1955, Mailer, together with Ed Fancher and Dan Wolf, first published The Village Voice, which began as an arts- and politics-oriented weekly newspaper initially distributed in Greenwich Village. In 2005, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from The National Book Foundation.

Norman Mailer is the author of books: The Naked and the Dead, The Executioner's Song, The Fight, An American Dream, The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History, Tough Guys Don't Dance, The Castle in the Forest, Harlot's Ghost, Marilyn, Ancient Evenings

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01
Written in gritty, journalistic detail, the story follows an army platoon of foot soldiers who are fighting for the possession of the Japanese-held island of Anopopei. Composed in 1948, The Naked and the Dead is representative of the best in twentieth-century American writing.
02
In what is arguably his greatest work, America's most heroically ambitious writer follows the short, blighted career of Gary Gilmore, an intractably violent product of America's prisons who became notorious for two reasons: first, for robbing two men in 1976, then killing them in cold blood; and, second, after being tried and convicted, for insisting on dying for his crime. To do so, he had to fight a system that seemed paradoxically intent on keeping him alive long after it had sentenced him to death.

Norman Mailer tells Gilmore's story--and those of the men and women caught up in his procession toward the firing squad--with implacable authority, steely compassion, and a restraint that evokes the parched landscapes and stern theology of Gilmore's Utah. The Executioner's Song is a trip down the wrong side of the tracks to the deepest sources of American loneliness and violence. It is a towering achievement--impossible to put down, impossible to forget.

Winner of the 1980 Pulitzer Prize

03
In 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaïre, two African American boxers were paid five million dollars apiece to fight each other. One was Muhammad Ali, the aging but irrepressible “professor of boxing.” The other was George Foreman, who was as taciturn as Ali was voluble. Observing them was Norman Mailer, a commentator of unparalleled energy, acumen, and audacity. Whether he is analyzing the fighters’ moves, interpreting their characters, or weighing their competing claims on the African and American souls, Mailer’s grasp of the titanic battle’s feints and stratagems—and his sensitivity to their deeper symbolism—makes this book a masterpiece of the literature of sport.
 
Praise for The Fight
 
“Exquisitely refined and attenuated . . . [a] sensitive portrait of an extraordinary athlete and man, and a pugilistic drama fully as exciting as the reality on which it is based.”The New York Times
 
“One of the defining texts of sports journalism. Not only does Mailer recall the violent combat with a scholar’s eye . . . he also makes the whole act of reporting seem as exciting as what’s occurring in the ring.”GQ
 
“Stylistically, Mailer was the greatest boxing writer of all time.”—Chuck Klosterman, Esquire
 
“One of Mailer’s finest books.”—Louis Menand, The New Yorker
 
Praise for Norman Mailer
 
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”The New York Times
 
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”The New Yorker
 
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”The Washington Post
 
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”Life
 
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”The New York Review of Books
 
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”The Cincinnati Post
05
One of the first examples of "new journalism" daringly combines reportage with a novelistic style and garnered Mailer his first Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.

Armies of the Night centers on the March on the Pentagon, the most famous anti-Vietnam War rally in Washington DC, and the characters that occupy this opposition––the intellectuals, students, African Americans, liberals, and marching women. Mailer, a novelist-as-character, sculpts this impressionably fragile world of the Left versus Authority and Peace versus War, prodding at the Vietnam generation’s deepest anxieties.
 
In the same way Truman Capote's In Cold Blood introduced the "non-fiction novel,"  Armies of the Night renders this form, with turns historical and fictional.   
06
A dark, brilliant novel of astonishing pitch, set in Provincetown, a "spit of shrub and dune" captured here in the rawness and melancholy of the off-season, "Tough Guys Don't Dance" is the story of Tim Madden, an unsuccessful writer addicted to bourbon, cigarettes, and blonde, careless women with money. On the twenty-fourth morning after the decampment of his wife, Patty Lareine, he awakens with a hangover, considerable sexual excitement, and, on his upper arm, a red tattoo bearing a name from the past. Of the night before, he remembers practically nothing. What he soon learns is that the front passenger seat of his Porsche is soaked with blood and that in a secluded corner of his marijuana stash in a nearby woods rests a blonde head, severed at the throat.
Is Madden therefore a murderer? He has no way of knowing. As in many novels of crime, the narrative centers on violence--physical, sexual, and emotional--but these elements move in their orbits through a rich constellation of character as Madden tries to reconstruct the missing hours of a terrible evening. In the course of this in-quiry a bizarre and vividly etched gallery of characters reappears to him as in a dream--ex-prizefighters, sexual junkies, mediums, former cons, a police chief, a world-weary former girl friend, and Mad-den's father, old now but still a Herculean figure, a practitioner of the sternest backroom ethics.
"Tough Guys Don't Dance" represents Mailer at the peak of his powers with a stunningly conceived novel that soon transcends its origins as a mystery to become a relentless search into the recesses and buried virtues of the modern American male. Rarely, as many readers will discern, have the paradoxes ofmachismo and homosexuality been so well explored.
07
No career in modern American letters is at once so brilliant, varied, and controversial as that of Norman Mailer. In a span of more than six decades, Mailer has searched into subjects ranging from World War II to Ancient Egypt, from the march on the Pentagon to Marilyn Monroe, from Henry Miller and Mohammad Ali to Jesus Christ. Now, in The Castle in the Forest, his first major work of fiction in more than a decade, Mailer offers what may be his consummate literary endeavor: He has set out to explore the evil of Adolf Hitler.

The narrator, a mysterious SS man who is later revealed to be an exceptional presence, gives us young Adolf from birth, as well as Hitler’s father and mother, his sisters and brothers, and the intimate details of his childhood and adolescence.

A tapestry of unforgettable characters, The Castle in the Forest delivers its playful twists and surprises with astonishing insight into the nature of the struggle between good and evil that exists in us all. At its core is a hypothesis that propels this novel and makes it a work of stunning originality. Now, on the eve of his eighty-fourth birthday, Norman Mailer may well be saying more than he ever has before.


From the Hardcover edition.
08
With unprecedented scope and consummate skill, Norman Mailer unfolds a rich and riveting epic of an American spy. Harry Hubbard is the son and godson of CIA legends. His journey to learn the secrets of his society—and his own past—takes him through the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the “momentous catastrophe” of the Kennedy assassination. All the while, Hubbard is haunted by women who were loved by both his godfather and President Kennedy. Featuring a tapestry of unforgettable characters both real and imagined, Harlot’s Ghost is a panoramic achievement in the tradition of Tolstoy, Melville, and Balzac, a triumph of Mailer’s literary prowess.
 
Praise for Harlot’s Ghost
 
“[Norman Mailer is] the right man to exalt the history of the CIA into something better than history.”—Anthony Burgess, The Washington Post Book World
 
“Elegantly written and filled with almost electric tension . . . When I returned from the world of Harlot’s Ghost to the present I wished to be enveloped again by Mailer’s imagination.”—Robert Wilson, USA Today
 
“Immense, fascinating, and in large part brilliant.”—Salman Rushdie, The Independent on Sunday
 
“A towering creation . . . a fiction as real and as possible as actual history.”The New York Times
 
Praise for Norman Mailer
 
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”The New York Times
 
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”The New Yorker
 
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”The Washington Post
 
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”Life
 
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”The New York Review of Books
 
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”The Cincinnati Post
09
More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA.
10
Crossing three millennia to Pharaonic Egypt, this tale returns to that land's essences - the war, magic, gods, death and reincarnations, the lusts, ambitions, jealousies, and betrayals.