The Arts Fuse Reviews Selected Letters

It’s refreshing and more than a little nostalgic to see the trials, triumphs, and tribulations of Mailer’s time through his own combative eyes, before writers were marginalized as influential public figures.

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The Cape Cod Times Reviews Letters

In 2002, J. Michael Lennon began reading more than 45,000 letters Mailer had written over 70 years … As you can imagine, Mailer spent a lot of time corresponding with fellow authors and celebrities, but also with friends and family and ordinary people who wrote to him.

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Straight Reviews Selected Letters

For sheer rambunctiousness and fecundity, however, few can match Norman Mailer’s Selected Letters, as chosen by his latest biographer from an astonishing 45,000 pieces of correspondence.

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9 Books You Need to Read

For fans of the novelist-pugilist, this posthumous fruit of his correspondence — 716 letters out of almost 50,000 — is indispensable.

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Library Journal Reviews Selected Letters

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A Gentleman of Letters

Perhaps more than any other major writer but Eugene O’Neill, Mailer produced some of the best and the worst examples of American art. His letters are frank about his own uncertainly as to where he stood in the literary pantheon.

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The Great American Novel Buried in Norman Mailer’s Letters

Most great writers are also great talkers, but writing begins where talking ends: in silence. Norman Mailer is one of literature’s great talkers, and his voice—his speaking voice—is crucial to his work. As a founding partner of a new upstart Greenwich Village weekly in the mid-nineteen-fifties, he even came up with its title: the Village Voice. Perhaps no writer of his time endured such keen conflict between his personal voice and his literary voice, and that conflict is at the center of “Selected Letters of Norman Mailer,” edited by J. Michael Lennon.

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Man of Letters

Over the course of about 60 years, Norman Mailer, in addition to more than 30 books, wrote some 45,000 letters. About 700 pieces of his correspondence have been published in “Selected Letters of Norman Mailer” (Random House), edited by J. Michael Lennon. Mailer, who died in 2007 at age 84, wrote to Henry Kissinger, the Clintons, Monica Lewinsky, Truman Capote, James Baldwin, Lillian Hellman, and many other public figures.

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Washington Times Review of Letters

Mr. Lennon (also Mailer’s official archivist) is back with a volume, nearly as thick and heavy, of Mailer’s correspondence (and a small sampling, Mr. Lennon tells us, from some 45,000 items), reflecting the thoughts and concerns of the nearly seven decades that Mailer played a role in American literary life — at times major, at others peripheral, but always a presence.

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Mailer’s Letters Pack a Punch

Norman Mailer was known for his toughness and temper, and his letters have plenty of that, but they also show his kindness and generosity with other writers.

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