Festival Books

The 20th century literar canon was shaped by man figures, among

whom NORMAN MAIL R stands tall. To add to the

rooklyn boy’s

legend, his life has been as controversial as his work. MilesFielder

Big Gun. Never was that cliched term more true when applied to a literary figure than in the case of Norman Mailer. For his 1948 debut novel, The Naked And The Dead, Mailer drew on his experiences as a soldier in the Philippines during World War II. The book was an instant and enormous success, rocketing the 24-year-old author to stardom. In the 605 he poured his energy into anti-establishment journalism, creating a new kind of book, the non-fiction novel. For The Armies Of The Night, an account of the October 1967 anti-Vietnam protest march on Washington, Mailer was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. His other famous works include The Fight, an account of the legendary Muhammad Ali/George Foreman ’Rumble In The Jungle', and his other Pulitzer winner, The Executioner’s Song. Still going strong in his 77th year, Mailer is the highlight of the Edinburgh Book Festival.

Times haven't always been so good for Mailer, though. Being catapulted into international stardom at a relatively young age wasn't an easy thing to come to terms with. As Mailer has said, 'I had no identity that I could comprehend.’ And though he didn’t have to scrape a living while establishing himself on the literary scene, young

ls it.Mailer the author or the icon that people wantitow, ?

Mailer was ill-equipped to deal with the demands of fame. It didn't help that his second and third novels, Barbary Shore and The Deer Park were critical failures.

Then there’s Mailer the man. The scourge of the women’s liberation movement, he once sparred with a boxing champ, assaulted Gore Vidal and stabbed Adele Morales, the second of his six wives. That kind of wild lifestyle can overshadow someone’s career is it Mailer the author, or the macho icon that Book Festival audiences are interested in seeing?

Whatever the case, the Mailer who is coming to Edinburgh is a very different animal from the one that fought men and women. His sixth marriage (to Norris Church Mailer) has lasted 25 years (though not without some infidelities), and now approaching his eighth decade, Mailer has . . . what, quietened down? ’As you get older, the real smoke and fire in your language tends to be banked a little . . . now it doesn’t just flame into good being,’ he has observed. In his approach to writing at least, this veteran has matured. That’ll be a sight to see.

I Norma/r Mar/er, PM ()Ifrc e [rival/e, 7-! Aug,

1] {Orr/r) (‘2 / {Op/rt, It) ‘)()/1’/">()‘r'-1 50/1") 50'


Don't be left on the shelf with these Book Festival highlights

Moon Unit Zappa

Frank's wee girl has appeared in Roseanne, clone a bit of sculpture and painting and regularly performs her own material in comedy xenues In tne spare five minutes she found recently, l.loon Unit knocked Out her debut novel, entitieci America The Beautiful. And she still ll‘.’(.’5 .l‘ the Los Angeles street where she ‘.‘.'as born \f/hich is kinda cute

I Moon Uri/t Zappa (Book) Sprege/tent, 624 5050, 72 Aug, 5pm, [7.50 ([550).

Andrea Dworkin

Having turned her focus from men and porn onto JG'NlSli patriarchy \‘JlIh Scapegoat, Andrea Dazcx'kin nas gone on to argue for a women’s hoinelanci' One of the most controversial f;g.ires in contemporary thought gives us two chances to witness the welding of her substantial intellect.

I Aric/rea D's/om”) Book) Post Office Theatre, 624 5050, IS 8 16 Aug, 7 30pm, £7.50

’[5 50/

Kazuo lshiguro

fit's pi‘r/e-J.;nning authors you want at yOur ‘estizal, trier Ishguro is yOur man He has

sc oobeu t"e ‘."./l‘~itbreacl, Booker and the (lit‘llt‘fll‘dll‘. in bps tame '-.‘.’lllCll spans four novels and a b..c ketloaci of high praise Except for The Uncorrso/eci, but you can ask him about that yoursei‘ in this morning event

I Kazuo lsr'irgur'o 18c)oki Post Office Theatre, 624 5050, .76 Aug, 77 30am, [6.50 ’f4.50).

Irvine Welsh & Niall Griffiths

lle iiay be .writing less pro'ifically these days, l)..’. tee no, \f/elsh can sti.E spark heated debate " bubs, c abs and pol!ch canteens across the am He is ’1()lll(.‘(l by l ".erpool author Griffiths, ‘.'.l‘.()S(" cieoat novel Grits cite-r. major comparisons ‘.'.’llll Trainspotting and was heavily enciorsecl by the man he shares a stage With were

I /f.’//lc" '/‘."e/sr'i a r‘Jra/I' Griffiths (BOO/c) Spiegelterrt, 624 5050, 22 Aug, 8.30pm, £7. 50 45 50;

A Night With 007

Here's your chance to hang out '.',llll 007 addicts' as bob ‘.'l‘.v'(?lll' anci Bond expert Raymond Benson hosts a night dedicated to lan Fleming's louc he creation Come along as a classic baclclie or babe, clance yourself to a stanclstiil and take part in the ultmate Boncl (llIJ/

I A Night Wrth 00/ 18ookr Sprege/terrt, 624 5050, 19AM}, 8pm, {/ 50 If!) 50/