Norman Mailer (1923-2007) was one of the most important writers to come out of World War II. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead, stunned the literary world with its hard-boiled and graphic depiction of life in the army. After a handful of other novels, including The Deer Park and An American Dream, he turned to reporting and what came to be called New Journalism with works such as The Armies of the Night, Miami and the Siege of Chicago, Of a Fire on the Moon, The Executioner’s Song and Oswald’s Tale. His later novels include Harlot’s Ghost and Ancient Evenings. As a public figure, he was known as pugnacious and irascible. A political activist, he attended several Democratic conventions and once ran for Mayor of New York.
Norman Mailer’s final novel, The Castle in the Forest, about the early life of Adolf Hitler, was intended as the first of a trilogy, but Mailer died a few months after its publication. He never got around to writing his long-awaited sequel to Harlot’s Ghost.
This podcast is taken from two interviews, the first on November 6, 1995, with Richard Wolinsky and Richard A. Lupoff during Mailer’s tour for his biography, Picasso, and the second, a solo interview by Richard A. Lupoff, on May 19, 1998, came during Mailer’s tour for his collection “Time of our Time.” Digitized and re-edited in 2008 by Richard Wolinsky; revised in 2018.