Archivist, Biographer, Educator

Category: Letters

NM to Henry Miller

Anyway, I can pay you the simplest compliment of all: I wince when I think of my writing having to be laid down next to yours. People will be able to make the obvious comparison. They’re not only going to realize the old boy is great; they’re going to come face to face with the fact that the middle-aged fellow isn’t so terrific.

Letters on Amazon’s Picks

Check out the entire list of this month’s best Biographies and Memoirs on Amazon.

Don’t Ever Call Me Liberal

Today would have been the 90th birthday of Norman Mailer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and journalist who also happened to write some enormously entertaining letters in his lifetime. Below are just three of the many thousands.

Thoughts on Editing Mailer’s Letters

In the Mailer Archive at the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas, there are 222 boxes of his correspondence, each holding about 190 letters, or a total of 42,000 letters. They run from the late 1930s to about 2005, about 70-years worth. It is one of the largest major author correspondence collections in the world. The letters vary in length, of course, running from one sentence to 4,000 words. On average, they are about 500 words in length and so the total runs to 20 millions of words. It took me five years to read them all once and to read 3,500 of them four or more times.


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The Selected Letters of Norman Mailer

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