Remembering Norman Mailer

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Novelist, new journalist, and celebrity American thinker and brawler Norman Mailer died last Saturday in New York. He was 84 and, nearly to the end, a provocative, combative, relentless aspirant to literary greatness.

A kid from Brooklyn, he wrote his celebrated World War II novel "The Naked and the Dead" when he was just twenty-five. An egoist and public brawler, he announced straight out that he was aiming for the ranks of Hemingway, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky. His admirers say he made it.

This hour, On Point: listening and looking back on the life of a 20th century great, Norman Mailer.


Jason Epstein, former editorial director of Random House and co-founder of The New York Review of Books. He was Norman Mailer's editor for 20 years.

Mary Dearborn, author of "Mailer: A Biography" (1999).

Jimmy Breslin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and columnist for the New York Daily News and Newsday, he was Norman Mailer's running mate in his 1969 losing bid to become New York City's mayor.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic.

This program aired on November 12, 2007.


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