AMERICANA: Of Time & the Rebel

In August 1948, a wiry young man with kinky hair, cupped ears and an amiable smile came back to the U.S. after spending a year as a G.I. bill student at the Sorbonne, and found that he had become the overnight lion of American letters. Norman Mailer's brutal, scatological novel of war on a Pacific island, The Naked and the Dead, was in its eleventh week as the nation's top bestseller, and the critical ovation was still going on. A few reviewers detected the strong influence of Melville and Dos Passos in...

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