Archivist, Biographer, Educator

Tag: interview

Murder, Sex, and the Writing Life: Norman Mailer’s Biography

How do you tell the story of one of the 20th century’s larger-than-life literary figures? Norman Mailer’s latest biographer J. Michael Lennon talks literary reputation, omens, women, and the never written.

Mike to Appear on MSNBC on Nov 25

Tune in to MSNBC’s The Cycle this Thursday, November 14 Monday, November 25 @ 3:00 EST to see a live interview with Mike.

Providence Journal Interviews Mike

When J. Michael Lennon was a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island in the early 1970s, he did something unusual for someone writing a dissertation about a famous writer.

Instead of researching someone who’d been rotting underground for scores of years, he wrote about a live author — Norman Mailer.

Mike on The Bat Segundo Show

J. Michael Lennon is most recently the author of Norman Mailer: A Double Life. This conversation also references essays contained in the new Mailer collection, Mind of an Outlaw.

Literary Lion Still Roars in Norman Mailer, A Double Life

World-famous at age 25 for his gritty, in-the-trenches, war-is-hell novel, The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer spent the last half of the 20th Century giving everybody something to talk about. A prolific writer of fact and fiction (and some new forms he invented), Mailer inserted himself into the history, politics and literature of his time. J. Michael Lennon’s new, authorized biography, Norman Mailer, A Double Life, gives us a front-row seat for the non-stop action of a man who’s credo was, “Itch, you bastards, I hope I make you uncomfortable to the death.”

Jim Inkster Interviews Mike on NPR

Professor J. Michael Lennon talks with Jim about the book he published “Norman Mailer: A Double Life”. The book is an autobiography of American Novelist and Journalist Norman Mailer.

Mike Interviewed by The Atlantic

J. Michael Lennon wrote to his hero in 1972 and became his pen pal, friend, and collaborator before writing the revealing new biography Norman Mailer: A Double Life.

A Conversation with Mike

Hastings Interviews JML

Years ago, in my very early twenties, I set out to write a book. I started a routine. I no longer drank, so I substituted a glass bottle of sparkling water for beer (similar heft), thrived on a diet of Parliament Lights and iced coffee, and always took a nap in the afternoon. For inspiration in the early mornings, though, I turned to Norman Mailer’s book on writing, “The Spooky Art.” I would read passages for motivation; it was as if Mailer, like the boxing coach in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, was a few steps behind me, over my shoulder in a hooded sweatshirt, imparting brutal words of encouragement: never skip out on the muse, write every day, and, please, for the sake of your readers, don’t be such a chicken shit.

Dr. J. Michael Lennon is the man who helped Mailer put “The Spooky Art” together. Lennon, an author and professor at Wilkes University, also collaborated on Mailer’s last book, “On God: An Uncommon Conversation.” Since Mailer’s death in Nov. 2007, Lennon has been at work on the only authorized biography of Mailer’s life, a 300,000 word volume that will be published by Simon&Schuster. At the same time, he’s played a major role in establishing The Norman Mailer Writers Colony in Provincetown, MA.

Read the entire interview @ True/Slant.

A Conversation with J. Michael Lennon

J. Michael Lennon, Norman Mailer’s archivist and Emeritus Vice President and Emeritus Professor of English at Wilkes University, recently spoke with the Ransom Center about Mailer and the upcoming Fleur Cowles Flair symposium, The Sense of Our Time: Norman Mailer and America in Conflict.

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