The Big Empty by Norman Mailer
Dialogues on Politics, Sex, God, Boxing, Morality, Myth, Poker and Bad Conscience in America

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Questions are posed, writes Norman Mailer, "in the hope they will open into richer insights, which in turn will bring forth sharper questions." In this series of conversations, John Buffalo Mailer, 27, poses a series of questions to his father, challenging the reflections and insights of the man who has dominated and defined much of American letters for the past sixty years. Their wide-ranging discussions take place over the course of a year, beginning in July 2004. Set against the backdrop of George W. Bush's re-election campaign and the war in Iraq, each considers what it means to live in America today. John asks his father to look back to World War II, and explore the parallels that can—and cannot—be drawn between that time and our current post-9/11 consciousness. As their conversations develop, the topics shift from the political to the personal to the political again, as they duck and weave around one another. They explore their shared admiration of boxing and poker, the nature of marriage and love, television, movies, writing, and what it means to be a part of this extraordinary family.
 

About Norman Mailer

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Norman Mailer was born in 1923 and published his first book, The Naked and the Dead, in 1948. The Armies of the Night won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1969. Mailer recieved another Pulitzer in 1980 for The Executioner's Song. He lives in Provincetown, MA, and Brooklyn, NY. John Buffalo Mailer is an actor, screenwriter and journalist. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
 
Published January 24, 2006 by Nation Books. 218 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Both father and son worry that the days of the serious American novel are over, leaving us with only “the Big Empty.” Norman remains a national treasure, and his fans must be grateful to his son for convincing the old man to sit down and answer a few questions.

Mar 01 2006 | Read Full Review of The Big Empty: Dialogues on P...

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