The Strange Powers of Norman Mailer

He hoped to write a novel great enough to cause “a revolution in the consciousness of our time.” But his best work was his political and cultural reportage: The Armies of the Night, Miami and the Siege of Chicago, Of a Fire on the Moon, and The Executioner’s Song. He spent much of his life reporting facts as if he were writing fiction, and performing—for an audience of gossip columnists and shockable reviewers—a fictional version of his life as though it were fact.

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