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Norman Mailer

Norman Kingsley Mailer (born January 31, 1923) is an American writer and innovator of the nonfictional novel.

Norman Mailer was born in Long Branch, New Jersey. He was brought up in Brooklyn and began attending Harvard University in 1939. At the university he became interested in writing and published his first story when he was 18.

Mailer enlisted in the army in World War II and served in the South Pacific. In 1948, just before enrolling in the Sorbonne in Paris, he wrote a book that made him world-famous: The Naked and the Dead, based on his personal experiences during World War II. It was hailed by many as one of the best American novels to come out of the war years.

In the following years, Mailer worked as a scriptwriter in Hollywood. Much of his work was refused by many publishers. But in the mid 1950s he became famous as an anti-establishment essayist. In pieces such as The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster (1956) and Advertisement for Myself (1959), Mailer examined violence, hysteria, crime, and confusion in American society.

Other famous works include: Why Are We in Vietnam? (1967), Armies of the Night (1968), (awarded a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award), Miami and the Siege of Chicago (1968), Of a Fire on the Moon (1970), The Prisoner of Sex (1971), The Executioner's Song (1979) (awarded a Pulitzer Prize), and Harlot's Ghost (1991).

Mailer is also noted as a biographer. His subjects have included Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso, and Lee Harvey Oswald.

Norman Mailer has been married six times and has nine children.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Norman Mailer Facts

Birth NameNorman Kingsley Mailer
BirthdayJanuary 31, 1923
Date of deathOctober 10, 2007 (age 84)

Selected Filmography

Norman Mailer: The American
New York In The 50's
Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone and Other Films by Norman Mailer
Keep the River on Your Right
Norman Mailer, I'm Pregnant
Norman Mailer Part 2
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