J. Michael Lennon is the late Norman Mailer’s archivist and authorized biographer. He has written/edited several books about him, including Norman Mailer: A Double Life (2013), the official biography published by Simon and Schuster, and Norman Mailer: Works and Days (2000), which was the recipient of a Choice Magazine award for “outstanding scholarly title” in 2001. Books he has edited include Critical Essays on Norman Mailer (1986), Conversations with Norman Mailer (1988), The James Jones Reader (1991), The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing (2003) and Norman Mailer’s Letters on An American Dream, 1963-69 (2004). He is the past president of both The Norman Mailer Society and The James Jones Literary Society and serves on the boards of both organizations. He is also the Chair of the Editorial Board of The Mailer Review. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Mailer Review, James Jones Literary Society Journal, Playboy, Creative Nonfiction, New York, Modern Fiction Studies, Modern Language Studies, Chicago Tribune, Narrative and Journal of Modern Literature, among others. He co-authored with Mailer On God: An Uncommon Conversation (2007). Most recently, he edited Moonfire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11 (Taschen 2009), an abridged version of Mailer’s 1971 narrative, Of a Fire on the Moon, with hundreds of NASA photographs; and Norman Mailer/Bert Stern: Marilyn Monroe (Taschen 2011).
Lennon is currently editing Mailer’s letters to be published in 2014. His documentary, James Jones: From Reveille to Taps, was shown on PBS in 1984; The Lincolns of Springfield, Illinois was shown in 1990. He was a faculty member and Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Illinois-Springfield from 1972-1992. He is Emeritus Vice President for Academic Affairs and Emeritus Professor of English at Wilkes University. He continues to teach in the Wilkes M.F.A. Program and The Mailer Colony, and serves on the advisory boards of both. He served from 2005-2007 as a literary consultant at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas-Austin, where he assisted in the cataloging of Mailer’s papers, and was a Fellow there in 2009. Lennon received the A.B. from Stonehill College and the M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. He is married to the former Donna Pedro; they are the parents of four sons and three grandchildren and live in Westport, Massachusetts.
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