A Letter From The Publisher, Jul. 16, 1973

It was pouring rain in Brooklyn Heights on the day TIME'S New York bureau chief Marsh Clark rang Norman Mailer's doorbell. They had never met before. By the time Clark left Brooklyn Heights, he had learned a great deal about Mailer's fantasies of Marilyn Monroe (for this week's cover story), Mailer's views on writing and money and the American psyche−and Mailer's passion for thumb wrestling. "Mailer is the self-proclaimed champion of the U.S.," Clark recalls. "But he confessed that he had fractured his right thumb in a boxing match a few years back, and so he is in temporary retirement from...

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