in Days

1971

Preceded by three excerpts in Life, Of a Fire on the Moon is published on 11 January by Little, Brown, the first of eight books by Mailer to be published by this firm. It is later nominated for the National Book Award in the sciences category.

“The Prisoner of Sex” is published in the March Harper’s, which displeases the magazine’s owners and contributes to the resignation of its editor, Willie Morris.

Mailer (1971)

A staged reading of D.J., a one-act play based on Why Are We in Vietnam? is given in New York.

Maggie Alexandra born to Carol on 21 March.

On 30 April, takes part in a contentious and humorous discourse, “A Dialogue on Women’s Liberation” at Town Hall in New York City, along with Germaine Greer, Diana Trilling and others. Mailer says that his hair turned white that night. The evening forms the basis for Donn Pennebaker’s documentary film, “Town Bloody Hall,” which is Germaine Greer’s description of the evening.

The Prisoner of Sex, which contains Mailer’s brilliant 40-page reflection on D.H. Lawrence, is published in book form on 27 May, and nominated for the National Book Award in the arts and letters category.

On 8 September, Matthew Norris born to Barbara Norris, who Mailer will informally adopt after Mailer marries his mother in 1980.

“Maidstone” premieres at the Whitney Museum in New York City on 22 September, and is published as Maidstone: A Mystery in October. The Long Patrol: 25 Years of Writing from the Work of Norman Mailer, a 739-page anthology containing selections from all of Mailer’s major books to that year, edited by Robert F. Lucid, is published on 25 October. Lucid also edits the first collection of critical essays, Norman Mailer: The Man and His Work, published by Little, Brown.

On 2 December, he appears on the “Dick Cavett Show” with Janet Flanner and Gore Vidal, and via his acrimonious exchanges with Vidal (who compared Mailer to Charles Manson in an essay in the New York Review of Books), re-writes the rules of the television talk show when he attacks his host and fellow quests, and draws the audience into the fray.