The James Jones Literary Society
Lifetime Achievement Award
Author of 40 books over a 50-plus year writing career, translated into a score of languages, nominated five times for the National Book Award in fiction and nonfiction, he is the only writer to ever win a Pulitzer in both fiction and nonfiction categories. Norman Mailer has challenged, beguiled, bothered and amazed two generations of readers worldwide.
He has written brilliantly about the CIA and been investigated covertly by the FBI. He has written about Jesus – in Jesus’s own words. He has captured the time of our time for all time.
Perhaps no career in literature has been at once so brilliant, varied, controversial, public, prolific, and misunderstood. His novels include such masterpieces as The Naked and the Dead (1948), The Deer Park (1955), An American Dream (1965), Why Are We In Vietnam? (1967), Ancient Evenings (1983) and Harlot’s Ghost (1992). He has written plays (and staged them), screenplays (and directed and acted in them), poems, sports and political reportage, including most notably, The Armies of the Night (1968), which won both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. He won his second Pulitzer in 1980 for The Executioner’s Song. No record of the "New Journalism" is complete without mention of his 1960s and 1970s Esquire, Harper’s and Commentary columns, essays and reports on national political figures and conventions. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letter in 1984, and served as President of the American Chapter of P.E.N. from 1984-86.
One of the premier literary journalists of our time, he has written for more than 70 publications from underground journals to The New Yorker, The Paris Review and The New York Review of Books. He is a co-founder of The Village Voice, which he named and contributed a column to in the mid-1950s. Over his long career, Mailer has attempted every sort of narrative form, including some he invented.
Provoking, visceral, visionary, Norman Mailer has been the chief narrative interpreter and chronicler of the American Century. He is unprecedented and irreplaceable. The James Jones Literary Society salutes his brilliant achievements with this award.
12th Annual James Jones Literary Society Conference, Paris, 22 June 2002