Norman Mailer

He was just 25 when he became abruptly and unmanageably famous. It was 1948, America was looking for its Great War Novel, and there was Norman Mailer, with his jug-handle ears, his curly hair and The Naked and the Dead. The first of his 10 novels and more than two dozen other titles, it became a huge best seller. But fame soon turned fickle on him, or maybe vice versa. Mailer was too flighty, impious and vainglorious to fill the role of anointed American writer as the '50s conceived it, so for a while his reputation dimmed. But in the decades...

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