US author Norman Mailer dies, aged 84
Author Norman Mailer - the author of World War II account "The Naked and the Dead" and two times Pulitzer winner has died. He was one of the most innovative and diverse writers in the US, with his provocative novels and essays often igniting discussions.world Updated: Nov 10, 2007 21:28 IST
US author Norman Mailer - the author of World War II account "The Naked and the Dead" and two times Pulitzer winner - has died, his editorial assistant Dwayne Prickett said in New York on Saturday.
The 84-year-old died of renal failure. He had undergone lung surgery in October.
Mailer was one of the most innovative and diverse writers in the US, with his provocative novels and essays often igniting discussions.
Born in New Jersey in 1923, Mailer first achieved fame in 1948 with the novel based on his experiences in World War II.
While few of his novels met with that level of acclaim, Mailer was best known as a co-founder of the Village Voice weekly newspaper, and as a pioneer of New Journalism - a style that combined actual events and characters told in novelistic form.
As an avid anti-war activist he was arrested at a demonstration against the Vietnam war in the 1960s, and he also clashed with feminists because of his macho ways, his multiple marriages and his portrayal of all women as man-haters by virtue of their very biology.
A prolific writer, Mailer wrote many novels as well as journalistic pieces, plays, poems and screenplays in a career spanning six decades. His last novel, "The Castle in the Forest", was published this year and features a fictionalised young Adolf Hitler.
He won the Pulitzer Prize twice, in 1969 for "The Armies of the Night" and in 1980 for "The Executioner's Song". Other non-fiction works included biographies of Marilyn Monroe and Lee Harvey Oswald, and "The Fight" (1975), an account of the famous heavyweight boxing-fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.
Long a controversial figure on the US literary scene for his unorthodox writing style and advocacy of Marxism, atheism and anti-feminism, Mailer said in a recent interview with DPA that he had found his way to faith.
Mailer was also an ardent critic of US President George W. Bush and the Iraq war, declaring, "This is the worst war this country has ever been in, absolutely the worst. We never had a leader who has been as stupid as the leader to this war."
Married six times, Mailer had nine children.