“I’m the only major writer in America that has had more bad reviews than good reviews,” said Mailer. A biographer called him one of the first true ‘celebrity’ writers, along with Hemingway.
Norman Mailer, the combative, controversial and often outspoken novelist who loomed over American letters longer and larger than any writer of his generation, died today in Manhattan. He was 84.
He died of acute renal failure at Mount Sinai Hospital early this morning, his family said. Mr. Mailer burst on the scene in 1948 with “The Naked and the Dead,” a partly autobiographical novel about World War II, and for the next six decades he was rarely far from the center stage. He published more than 30 books, including novels, biographies and works of nonfiction, and twice won the Pulitzer Prize: for “The Armies of the Night” (1968), which also won the National Book Award, and “The Executioner’s Song” (1979).