If you were enthralled by Capote's In Cold Blood, read The Executioner's Song
Norman Mailer was born in New Jersey in January 1923 and after graduating from Harvard, served in the US army from 1944-1946. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead, was published to immediate critical acclaim in 1948 - and was hailed by Anthony Burgess as 'the best war novel to emerge from the United States'. He went on to publish both fiction and non-fiction, his books including Barbary Shore (1951), Advertisements for Myself (1959), The Presidential Papers (1963), An American Dream (1964), Armies of the Night (1968), Ancient Evenings (1983), and Tough Guys Don't Dance (1983). The Executioner's Song, first published in 1979, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 - an award which Mailer won twice during his writing career. Norman Mailer died in November 2007.
"His greatest work was his 1979 epic The Executioner's Song... a
masterpiece of reportage, fiction and stylistic writing" * Observer
"A deeply unsettling account of a particular ordeal that suggests larger questions: the moralities of power's ends and means, the character of revolutionary fanaticism and the indecipherable humanity that flickers within it...by turns evocative, wise and crisscrossed by fury" * New York Times Book Review *
"A great writer: in the utterly enthralling story of Gary Gilmore's life and crimes Norman Mailer takes one as deeply into the criminal mind as it is possible to get" * Alan Sillitoe *