Seymour Krim

DID YOU KNOW? The first preface, foreword or introduction to the work of another writer that Mailer wrote was for Seymour Krim’s 1961 collection of essays, Views of a Nearsighted Cannoneer (Excelsior Press). Krim, a Greenwich Village hipster who was sometimes described as a scaled-down version of Mailer, met Mailer in the early 1950s, and […]



DID YOU KNOW? Mailer’s favorite journey was driving over the crest of a hill in Truro, Massachusetts, on his way to Provincetown, and first seeing “the Pilgrim Monument in all its subtle presence.” He believed Provincetown to be the most beautiful town on the East Coast of the U.S.


Publisher Relationships

DID YOU KNOW? Mailer’s books were published by several American publishers, but the most important were Rinehart (1948-54), Putnam’s (1955-67); New American Library (1968-72), Little, Brown (1971-83), and Random House, from 1984 until his death in 2007. Random House published eight of his books, and will publish his selected essays in fall 2013, and his […]


The Hinge of Mailer’s Unwritten Trilogy: “The Last Night”

DID YOU KNOW? The last short story that Mailer wrote was “The Last Night,” published in the December 1963 Esquire. It is a sci-fi tale about the world ending after a devastating nuclear war. The president of the U. S. and the premier of the U. S. S. R. recognize that radioactive fallout has made […]


Tibo and Zsa Zsa

DID YOU KNOW: In the summer of 1955, Mailer purchased two standard poodles, Tibo, who looked like a black sheep, and Zsa Zsa. They produced 32 pups over 17 years. Zsa Zsa died first; Tibo is buried in the garden of the house Mailer and his then-wife Beverly Bentley lived at 565 Commercial Street in […]



DID YOU KNOW? When asked by Vanity Fair to name the qualities he most admired in women, Norman Mailer said “Beauty, mystery, wit, and the inner superiority to be above political correctness.”


Berkeley Audience

DID YOU KNOW? Mailer’s largest live audience was approximately 10,000. On May 21, 1965, he spoke at a Teach-in at the University of California, Berkeley, which was organized by Jerry Rubin and others. He began his speech by noting that the citizenry’s “buried unvoiced faith that the nature of America” had over the past months […]


Favorite Word

DID YOU KNOW? Asked to name his favorite word by the New York Times, Mailer said: “Improvisational.”


ExSong Screenplay

DID YOU KNOW? In 1983, Mailer’s screenplay for The Executioner’s Song (directed by his long-time collaborator, Lawrence Schiller) was nominated for an Emmy. Tommy Lee Jones, in a break-through role, won one for playing Gary Gilmore, who was executed by a firing squad in January 1977. He was the first person executed in the U.S. in the […]



DID YOU KNOW? In the Mailer Archive at the Harry Ransom Center (HRC) of the University of Texas-Austin, there are 222 boxes of Mailer letters. They cover the years 1939-2005. According to Steve Mielke, who was the supervising archivist cataloging Mailer’s papers, the number of letters in each box averaged 187 letters, or a total […]