“Modern Evenings: An Interview with Norman Mailer.” By Michael Schumacher. Writer’s Digest, October, 30-34. The chief theme of this thoughtful interview is risk: the risk of being a working writer, the risk of reviews, of changing styles, fame, the tides of luck. Mailer says, “I’m almost more comfortable with a tough tide. I get nervous when I’m on a good tide, because I figure prosperity is something I’ve never steered too well.” He also comments on Hilary Mills’s biography (82.23), saying, “I think she stuck to every story at face value. None of them are adjusted or weighed.” See 83.32, 84.5.
St. George and the Godfather. Introduction by John Leonard. New York: Arbor House, September; simultaneously as a softcover. Nonfiction narrative on the 1972 political conventions, 229 pp., $14.95. First hardcover version of the earlier softcover (72.17).
“Norman Mailer Moves to Random House.” Article by unidentified writer. Publishers’ Weekly, 12 August, 17. Mailer is quoted once in this brief article: “I have had a long relationship with Little, Brown, and for the most part an agreeable one.” Also quoted are Scott Meredith, Mailer’s agent, and his new editor, Jason Epstein, who reports that Mailer’s first book for Random House will be “a major contemporary novel,” perhaps the first mention of Tough Guys Don’t Dance (84.17).
“Norman Mailer: A Man, an Artist, a Cultural Phenomenon.” Article-interview by Rick Soll. Living, Chicago Sun-Times, 7 August, 1, 6-7, 12; cover photograph of Mailer and Norris Church Mailer. In Chicago to promote Ancient Evenings (83.18), Mailer talks at length about the struggle to write the novel, and his image problems: “I never say exactly what I think—it’s my style to circle around an issue,” which causes problems for journalists, who “edit out the context.” He also reveals that he and his wife, Norris Church, “were born within one minute of each other, 26 years apart.” “Norris,” he says, “has changed me enormously.”
“Little, Brown Loses Mailer to Random House.” Article-interview by Robert Taylor. Boston Globe, 3 August, 57, 62. Scott Meredith explains why Mailer is leaving Little, Brown, and that his next book may be a novel titled, The Castle in the Forest. “It’s about an American army outfit coming upon a castle the Germans had been using as a concentration camp in World War II. The leading characters are an American Jewish doctor and a German doctor who confront each other and clash over contending philosophies.” This novel was begun by Mailer in the early 1950s, and abandoned; later he used the title for his final novel (07.10) about Hitler, retaining the confrontation, slightly altered, as the epilogue.
“Mailer and Random House Sign a $4 Million Contract.” Article-interview by Edwin McDowell, 2 August. Explains the details of his new contract with Random House, which remained in force until his death. Mailer: “I have had a long relationship with Little, Brown, and for the most part an agreeable one.”
“Making Ends Meet: James Campbell Meets Norman Mailer.” Article-interview by James Campbell. Literary Review, July, 28-31. On the English tour for 83.18, Mailer breakfasts with Campbell and discusses his new novel, irony in literature, the respective merits of journalism and the novel, and some of his contemporaries: James Baldwin, Saul Bellow and James Jones. He notes that his “toughest” journalistic assignment was his piece for Life (71.14) on the first Ali-Frazier fight. He had 32 hours to write 9,500 words.
“God and Man and Norman Mailer.” Article-interview by Eugene Kennedy. Notre Dame Magazine, 12 (July), 19-20. One of Mailer’s most incisive explanations of his spiritual beliefs relayed and framed sympathetically by Kennedy, a former Catholic priest and good friend. For more on Mailer’s theology, see 59.2, 75.2, 75.11, 82.15 and 89.11, and his final book, On God: An Uncommon Conversation (07.38).
“Macho Mailer Faces Up to Posterity’s View.” Article-interview by Adrianne Blue. (London) Times, 10 June, 12. Brief piece, published during Mailer’s promotional tour in England for Ancient Evenings (83.18), with Mailer’s comments on his public persona. Mailer says, “More and more I find myself attuned to writers like Dostoyevsky, Stendhal, D.H. Lawrence—and I’m not comparing myself to them—who want to break up the ball game, explore new territory.”