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91.22

The Lives of Norman Mailer by Carl Rollyson. New York: Paragon House, October. Mailer was not interviewed for this biography (which Paragon House published to appear at the same time as 91.26), nor were most of his family and friends. Rollyson provides more purely literary analysis—much of it very thoughtful—than his predecessors, but overall the book is quite derivative. Over 55 percent of his secondary references are to three books: the biographies of Hilary Mills (82.23) and Peter Manso (85.13), and Conversations with Norman Mailer (88.6); only a bit more than five percent of the references are to the author’s original interviews, although some of these—with William Styron, John W. Aldridge, Norman Rosten and Rust Hills—are unique and valuable.

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