Good Times for Mailer Studies

The new Mailer Review joins two major books devoted to the famed author; includes a short story Mailer wrote while a college student.

By Barbara Melendez

      USF News

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 25, 2013) – Vanity Fair's James Wolcott had just finished reading an interview with J. Michael Lennon, about his new book, "A Double Life," when he serendipitously opened an envelope with his review copy of "The Mailer Review."

Noting that “much of it devoted to Lennon’s biography and the just-published anthology of Mailer’s work Mind of an Outlaw,” Wolcott wrote in his blog, "It looks to be an especially rich issue, featuring also a never before published short story by Mailer called "Love-Buds" that was written while (a student) at Harvard; Dick Russell's memoir about Mailer's involvement in the Dynamite Club, an informal brain trust devoted to dissecting and decoding the Kennedy assassination, the CIA, Watergate, and the entire shadow world of espionage and skullduggery; and, completing the circle, Ronald K. Freid's essay on Mailer's boxing coverage."

Mailer Review Editor Phillip Sipiora concurs.

“As I wrote in my Reflections column for this issue, times are good for Mailer Studies,” Sipiora said. “This is borne out by Lennon’s book and my own along with the 2012 TASCHEN book by Larry Schiller, the Criterion Collection of Mailer’s four films and Donald Kaufmann’s book, Norman Mailer: Legacy and Literary Americana. And the quality and depth of all the essays that appear in this issue and previous issues are adding to the critical literature about Mailer in a very significant way. The diverse range reflects Mailer’s broad appeal and wide-ranging interests. And there’s still plenty more to say about him.”

With the publication of Lennon’s autobiography and Sipiora’s “Mind of an Outlaw” forming a powerful backdrop, this issue considers Mailer in relation to some of his contemporaries, Theodore Dreiser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, and the Beatnik writers is essays from Jerome Loving, Bob Batchelor, Erik Nakjavani, Donald L. Kaufman and Raj Chandarlapaty, and in connection with Russian literature, by Victor Peppard and Chinese critics, by Hujen Ren. Carolyn Yalcut looks at Mailer the journalist in “Prophesying the News: Norman Mailer’s Journalism” and Ronald K. Fried writes about “Mailer’s Boxing Journalism.”

The opening page gives a sense of just how far-reaching Mailer’s influence remains. Under the heading of the Norman Mailer Center and the Norman Mailer Writers Colony is a list of Mailer-affiliated projects: the Norman Mailer Fellows Program, Creative Writing Workshops and Writers Retreat Program, the American Literature and Society Travel Study Program for International Students Program, along with the National High School, Community College and College Writing Awards and the National High School Writing Awards for High School Teachers (both in partnership with NCTE), the Norman Mailer Lifetime Achievement Prize, the Norman Mailer Journalism and Humanitarianism Prize and the Norman Mailer Lifetime Achievement Prize in Magazine Publishing.

“The articles selected for this issue, as always, were chosen to represent a diverse range of perspectives on Mailer’s life and work,’ Sipiora writes. “We look forward to continuing our role in nurturing the legacy of Norman Mailer, who continues to matter in so many ways.”

For more information, contact: The Mailer Review’s Managing Editor Brianna Jerman at

Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563