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63.8

The Big Bite. Monthly column. Esquire. “Some Children of the Goddess: Further Evaluations of the Talent in the Room.” July, 63-69, 105. This long essay of literary criticism is titled “Norman Mailer versus Nine Writers” on the table of contents page. The nine, in order of Mailer’s consideration, are William Styron, James Jones, James Baldwin, William Burroughs, Joseph Heller, John Updike, Philip Roth, J.D. Salinger and Saul Bellow. Mailer also comments on Vance Bourjaily. The essay’s subtitle links it with his 1959 essay (59.10) on 17 writers, including Jones, Styron, Bellow and Baldwin. One of Mailer’s finest critical pieces. Calder Willingham responded in “The Way It Isn’t Done: Notes on the Distress of Norman Mailer,” Esquire, December. Rpt: Contemporary American Novelists, edited by Harry T. Moore. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, October; as the second part of “Some Children of the Goddess” (preceded by 63.7) in 66.11, 13.1.

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