Norman Mailer (1923-2007) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist from Brooklyn, New York. A journalist, playwright, screenwriter and film director, Mailer had an extraordinary career as an innovator of creative nonfiction. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction in 1969 for The Armies of the Night and again for Fiction in 1980 for The Executioner’s Song. In 2005, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from The National Book Foundation.
Mailer was only sixteen and a half when he began his studies at Harvard University in 1939. Although an engineering major, it wasn’t long before Mailer realized his true passion lie in writing. His first story was published at eighteen.
Mailer graduated from Harvard in the middle of World War II, entered the U.S. Army and served as a sergeant in the South Pacific. In 1948, Mailer wrote his first novel, The Naked and the Dead, based on his experience in the war. Wildly successful, Mailer was soon famous at twenty-five.
In 1955, Mailer was one of the founders of The Village Voice. In the following years, Mailer continued to write prolifically, including: The Presidential Papers (1963), An American Dream (1965), Why Are We in Vietnam? (1967), Miami and the Siege of Chicago (1968), Of a Fire on the Moon (1970), The Prisoner of Sex (1971), Marilyn (1973), The Fight (1975), Ancient Evenings (1983), Harlot's Ghost (1991), Oswald's Tale (1995), and The Castle in the Forest (2007).
Mailer lived in Provincetown, Massachusetts when he passed away, at age eighty-four, in November 2007.
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