Lennon is the late Mailer’s archivist and has written or edited several books about him, includingNorman Mailer: Works and Days, Critical Essays on Norman Mailer, Conversations with Norman Mailer, Norman Mailer’s Letters on An American Dream, 1963-69, and most recently, On God: An Uncommon Conversation, co-authored with Mailer. He is the president of The Norman Mailer Society and past president of The James Jones Literary Society. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Playboy, Provincetown Arts, New York, Modern Fiction Studies, New England Review, Narrative and Journal of Modern Literature, among others.
Lennon commented: “I met Norman in 1972 and we became good friends over the years. I have been collecting material for this biography almost from the beginning of our relationship. Beginning in 2003, Norman did a series of in-depth interviews with me on his life and work with the clear sense that the historical record had to be preserved. These interviews, along with others with his widow Norris and other family and friends will be essential to my effort. Norman Mailer lived a fantastically full and dramatic life, and a productive one. He was the chief interpreter of the last half of the American century, and his major works, including THE NAKED AND THE DEAD, ADVERTISEMENTS FOR MYSELF, THE ARMIES OF THE NIGHT and THE EXECUTIONER’S SONG, changed the rhythms of American prose. No career in our literature has been as brilliant, varied, public, prolific and controversial.
World rights to the book were acquired by Simon & Schuster Executive Vice President and Publisher David Rosenthal from John Taylor “Ike” Williams of Kneerim & Williams. The book will be edited by VP and Senior Editor Bob Bender. Rosenthal said: “With his interviews with Mailer, his close friends and family members, and access to the Mailer Archive, Mike Lennon is the very best person to undertake this biography. It is a monumental life that will get the book it serves.”