Deaths for the Ladies (and Other Disasters), Mailer’s first poetry collection, is published on 30 January. Many of the poems were written on scraps of paper when Mailer was drinking, which he did a lot of in 1961-62.

In late February, divorces Adele in Juarez, Mexico.

On 4 May, marries Jeanne Campbell, and in late spring they move into 142 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, a four-story brownstone he had purchased in 1960 and renovated. Mailer lives there continuously until his death, except for his sojourns in Provincetown, where he spent the majority of his time in the last decade of his life.

Lady Jean Campbell, Norman Mailer, Tibo

Kate Cailean born to Jeanne on 18 August.

Attends the International Writers’ Conference in Edinburgh, 20-24 August, where he meets Henry Miller and William Burroughs.

Norman Mailer, Frank Reynolds, William Buckley (1962)

On 25 September, covers the Sonny Liston-Floyd Patterson fight in Chicago, and writes his first boxing essay, “Ten Thousand Words a Minute,” in Esquire.

In November, begins a column on politics and culture, “The Big Bite,” in Esquire (through December 1963), and a bi-monthly column, “Responses and Reactions,” devoted mainly to commentary on Martin Buber’s Tales of the Hasidim, in the December Commentary (through October 1963).

In late fall, separates from Jeanne Campbell.

Danielle, NM, and Elizabeth (1962)

in Days | 193 Words


“Norman Mailer.” Reader’s Encyclopedia of American Literature, edited by Max John Herzberg. New York: T. Y. Crowell, 1962. For the “Comments” section of his entry, Mailer provided the following statement:

I think the writers who have meant the most to me in forming a style which could contain what I wished to say were, in approximate order of their chronological influence: Jeffrey Farnol, Rafael Sabatini, James T. Farrell, John Dos Passos, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, André Malraux, William Faulkner, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Oswald Spengler, Mikhail Sholokhov, E. M. Forster, Christopher Isherwood, Stendhal, Marx, Trotsky, James Jones, Zola, the Marquis de Sade, Proust, Gide, Sartre, William Burroughs. Among the playwrights Shaw, O’Neill, Odets, Lillian Hellman, Tennessee Williams, Beckett, and Ionesco.


Conference Remarks. In Transcript of Proceedings of the 20-24 August International Writers’ Conference: “The Novel Today,” Edinburgh, 138 pp. Court stenographer’s mimeographed transcript (replete with egregious, humorous, errors) is a fascinating document. Mailer speaks several times, and co-chairs the final day’s session, “The Novel and the Future.” Details Mailer’s interaction with Mary McCarthy, Lawrence Durrell, William Burroughs, and his comments on Das Kapital. In 2012, a limited edition of the proceedings, titled The Novel Today: Edinburgh International Festival 1962, edited by Andrew Hook, was published an Edinburgh publisher, Kennedy and Boyd.  See 65.1, 65.13, 81.21, 92.12, 96.7, 13.2, 312-15.


“An Open Letter to JFK from Norman Mailer.” Village Voice, 20 December, 1, 7. Rpt: As “A Second Open Letter to JFK” in 63.37; 68.11.


Responses and Reactions I. Commentary, December, 504-6. First of a series of six bi-monthly columns (December 1962-October 1963) devoted mainly to commentary on Martin Buber’s Tales of the Hasidim. Mailer’s first appearance in Commentary. Rpt: Partial in 63.37, 98.7. See 63.16, 63.17, 63.18, 63.19, 63.20.



“An Impolite Interview with Norman Mailer.” By Paul Krassner. The Realist, no. 40 (December), 1, 13-16, 18-23, 10. Rpt: Partial in 63.37, 68.11, 82.16; complete in Best of “The Realist,” edited by Paul Krassner. Philadelphia: Running Press, 1984. See 93.8b.[Full text Off-site.]

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“Sing the Ballad of the Sad Saint.” Esquire, December, 169. Poem. Accompanied by 62.19. Rpt: As “The Ride of the Sad Saint” in 66.11 (without 62.19).


The Big Bite. Esquire, December, 168. Column, second in a series. Comment on the suicides of the spy, Henry Soblen, and Ernest Hemingway, and on American heroism as manifested by John Glenn. Accompanied by 62.20. Rpt: 63.37 (partial, and without 62.20), 13.1. See 62.18, 63.2-63.13.


The Big Bite. Esquire, November, 134. First of a series of 14 monthly columns (November 1962-December 1963). Comment on the passing of Marilyn Monroe and Ernest Hemingway. Rpt: 63.37 (partial), 13.1. See 62.19, 63.2-63.13.


“U.S. Perils Return Bout.” Article by Leonard Lewin. New York Mirror, 29 September. Final article on Liston’s press conference. Mailer is quoted: “I pick Floyd Patterson to knock you out in the sixth.” Liston replied, “He’s still drunk.”