Archivist, Biographer, Educator

Tag: interview Page 1 of 4

The Reckless Truth-Teller

Mike and John Buffalo Mailer are interviewed in the latest episode of the Open Source podcast “Norman Mailer Turns 100.” 

We are summoning Norman Mailer in his hundredth-birthday season, what could be his revival time, to tell us what happened to his country and ours. Mailer lived and wrote it all: 40 books of eagle-eyed fact and fiction. First as a soldier in the Philippines, in the 1940s; then: epic poet of the Sixties in America; eventually as a celebrity and popular artist of Duke Ellington or Frank Sinatra proportions.

Listen to the full episode on their site.

Interview on Deep Cover

An interview with Mike discussing Mailer’s Last Days is featured on the January 31, 2023 episode of Deep Cover with host Damen Dynan. Listen on Apple Music.

Hippocampus Interview

Interviewed by Vicki Mayk

J. Michael Lennon’s literary identity has been intertwined with that of legendary writer Norman Mailer for more than a half century. As the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s authorized biographer and archivist, Lennon has written more about Mailer than anyone. The author of the biography Norman Mailer: A Double Life, published by Simon & Schuster in 2013, Lennon’s writing also has included essays, interviews, and literary criticism about many of Mailer’s contemporaries. In his new book, Mailer’s Last Days: New and Selected Remembrances of a Literary Life,Lennon makes his first foray into memoir.

Lennon is no stranger to the genre: As the co-founder of the Maslow Family Graduate Creative Writing Program at Wilkes University, where he is professor emeritus of English, Lennon has mentored many students writing memoir for their creative thesis. His new book marks the first time he has written his own memoir, tackling a braided form that includes examining the two fathers in his life – his biological father and Norman Mailer, who became another father figure during their long relationship.

Read the full interview at Hippocampus Magazine

Norman Mailer, the Moon Landing, New Journalism, and More

Interview with WAMC

No writer plunged more wholeheartedly into the chaotic energies of the 1960s than Norman Mailer, as he fearlessly revolutionized literary norms and genres to capture the political, social, and sexual explosions of an unsettled era.

Listen on WAMC.

Norman Mailer “recognized the permanent cleft in the American character”

Published this month by Library of America, Norman Mailer: The Sixties is a double dose of the trenchant writer who—in his fiction, his nonfiction, and in work that famously blurred the distinction between the two—threw himself unreservedly into the most tumultuous era in modern American history.

Read the interview.

WVIA Interview

J. Michael Lennon, Norman Mailer’s archivist, editor, and authorized biographer who teaches creative writing at Wilkes University, talks about the two-volume boxed set, “Norman Mailer: The Sixties,” issued March 27, 2018, by the Library of America.

Mailer’s Last Interview: On the Village Voice

Mike says: The Times Literary Supplement (London) asked to post an excerpt from Norman Mailer’s last interview (September 2007) with yours truly to its website. The interview concerns the VILLAGE VOICE, which announced a few days ago that it was suspending print publication after 62 years. Mailer speaks of the newspaper’s origins—he helped fund it, and also came up with the name. Please pass on to interested people. The piece first appeared in The Mailer Review a couple of years ago.

TLS Voices

Mike Interviewed by AM/FM Magazine

When did you meet Norman Mailer, Mike? What was your first impression of him?

Mailer and I corresponded for about 20 months before we met. After watching Mailer and Gore Vidal go at each other on the Dick Cavett Show in December of 1970, I wrote a letter to Mailer sympathizing with him. Vidal got the best of their tussle, but the audience did not know that Vidal had compared Mailer to Charles Manson, quite unfairly, in an essay in the New York Review of Books (years later, Vidal changed the essay, eliminating the comparison). About ten days after I wrote to Mailer, I got a long reply. I was in my 20s at the time, and recall being stunned when my wife handled me the letter. In 1971 Mailer was at the pinnacle of the literary world, having won a Pulitzer and the National Book Award for his 1968 account of the anti-war movement, The Armies of the Night. I was then a doctoral student at the University of Rhode Island, and was just starting my thesis on Mailer’s work. I told him about my ideas in my letters , and he sent back some supportive comments. It was the beginning of a 35-year friendship.

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