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Norman Mailer

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Biography

Norman Mailer was born in 1923 in Long Branch, N.J. Mailer grew up in Brooklyn and began attending Harvard University in 1939, it was while at university that he became interested in writing, he published his first story when he was 18. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1943.
Drafted into the army in 1944, he served in the Philippines, as a rifleman in a reconnaissance outfit with the Twelfth Armoured Cavalry regiment from Texas until 1946. Just before enrolling in the Sorbonne, in Paris, he wrote The Naked and the Dead(1948) based on his personal experiences in World War II, it was both a critical and commercial success and hailed by many as one of the finest American novels to come out of WWII.

Other highlights in a long and distinguished career include : The White Negro , a sociological and semi-autobiographical essay, one of his best pieces, in the authors own opinion. Advertisements for Myself, a collection of the best of Mailer’s essays, stories, interviews and journalism from the 40’s and 50’s. Why Are We in Vietnam, a soul-searching novel on the place of violence in the Vietnam Years.

Mailer’s dramatic journalistic style can be best appreciated in the superb Armies of the Night , (Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award recipient), a recollection of his own experiences at the Washington peace rallies of 1968, during which he was jailed. Mailer won 6% of the vote in a five man primary to become Mayor of New York.

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