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Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer at the Mayfair Theater in London on April 25, 1965. (Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Major works:
The Naked and the DeadAdvertisements for MyselfThe Armies of the NightMiami and the Siege of ChicagoOf a Fire on the MoonThe Executioner’s Song

“It is a largely unremarked fact about Mailer that he is a great and obsessed stylist, a writer to whom the shape of the sentence is the story.”—Joan Didion

“He is his own supreme fiction . . . the author of ‘Norman Mailer,’ a lengthy, discontinuous, and perhaps canonical fiction.”—Harold Bloom

Read an excerpt from

Superman Comes to the Supermarket

Norman Mailer

Since the First World War Americans have been leading a double life, and our history has moved on two rivers, one visible, the other underground; there has been the history of politics which is concrete, factual, practical and unbelievably dull if not for the consequences of the actions of some of these men; and there is a subterranean river of untapped, ferocious, lonely and romantic desires, that concentration of ecstasy and violence which is the dream life of the nation.

Read a passage from Superman Comes to the Supermarket by Norman Mailer
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