A Rampancy of Writers

Mailer and Manhattan brace for an international literary gala

In Manhattan, people are calling it the Rehabilitation of Norman Mailer or, less formally, Norman Goes Legit. Mailer, 62, "embattled aging enfant terrible of the literary world . . . champion of obscenity," as he once called himself, has been remodeling his image--from rebellious to respectable. Throughout the autumn, he acted as an occasional master of ceremonies on a Broadway stage. He spent time sweet-talking the State Department. He rushed to the offices of a real estate magnate to make important deals. He even modified the cut of his clothes to fit his latest fashion. More often than ever, he has...

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