Archivist, Biographer, Educator

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Former Sangamon State instructor is famed writer Mailer’s authorized biographer

J. Michael Lennon said he had two reactions when he was tabbed to write the authorized biography of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Norman Mailer. . .

Biography emerged from decades of conversations

The research and writing “were up to the last minute” –seven years. Four years prior to that reading the letters, a collection of which Lennon hopes to edit and publish next. “There were over 50,000 written to over 4,000 people,” he said.

Mike on The Cycle

J. Michael Lennon talks with The Cycle hosts about how Norman Mailer changed American literature.

[Mike apologizes for saying that Mailer was an only child. What he meant was that Mailer was the only male child.]

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.

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