Reviews — From the December 2013 issue

Does Mailer Matter?

The Young Writer and the last literary celebrity

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Discussed in this essay:

Norman Mailer: A Double Life, by J. Michael Lennon. Simon & Schuster. 960 pages. $40.

Mind of an Outlaw: Selected Essays, by Norman Mailer. Random House. 656 pages. $40.

Of course, the Young Writer had known of Mailer all his life. How could he not have known? He’d been raised in New York City, where Mailer twice ran for mayor — the first campaign brought to a premature end by Mailer’s drunken stabbing of his second wife, the next suffering a more conventional death, of voter indifference. All this before the Young Writer’s time, but the legend had persisted.

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is a deputy editor of Harper’s Magazine. His new novel, Arts and Entertainments, will be published next year by Ecco.

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