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The Hollywood Kennedy

In response to:

Norman Mailer: 'Deer Park' Letters from the February 26, 2009 issue

To the Editors:

In Norman Mailer’s letter to Vance Bourjaily [NYR, February 26] he writes, “That’s why I envied [Irving] Schulman and Kennedy” and a footnote next to Kennedy’s name says “unknown.”

I’m quite certain he’s referring to Jay Richard Kennedy, whose best-selling inside Hollywood novel Prince Bart: A Novel of Our Times was published in 1953. Kennedy (not his real name: he was a New York Jew of Maileresque pretentions who was quite active in politics among other things) was a novelist, screenwriter (I’ll Cry Tomorrow is his best-known work), and producer, and it makes sense that his insider’s knowledge would be what Mailer was referencing in this letter. They may well have known each other, but this I don’t know for sure.

David Ansen
Los Angeles, California

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