in Days


Discovers American literature over the winter, including James T. Farrell’s Studs Lonigan, Dos Passos’s U.S.A., and Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. In 1940, he reads D.H. Lawrence’s unexpurgated (and unpublished in the U.S.) novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover in the Treasure Room of the Widener Library. He said later that it “changed my sex life, or rather, accelerated it.” Mailer loses his virginity to a Cambridge girl in late 1940.