By HILLEL ITALIE, national writer AP
NEW YORK (AP) – An anthology of the writings of the late Norman Mailer that Random House is said to have scheduled for its centenary in 2023 but has withdrawn from it will be published by Skyhorse Publishing. The publisher has taken up abandoned works such as Woody Allen’s memoir “Apropos of Nothing” and a biography of Philip Roth written by Blake Bailey.
Andrew Wylie, whose literary agency represents the Mailer estate, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Skyhorse Publishing would publish the book and that Random House had waived all reprint charges. He said details such as the book’s content, title and publication date have yet to be determined.
“Random House is proud to publish Norman Mailer and intends to promote his work in a meaningful way for the centenary, in tandem with Skyhorse’s publication of the anthology,” Wylie wrote in an email. “The Mailer family and Random House are united in supporting Norman’s work.”
A Skyhorse spokesperson was unable to immediately confirm that there was a deal for the Mailer book. Skyhorse is a freelance publisher who has made a name for himself in recent years by listing authors like Allen, Bailey, Garrison Keillor and others with whom the mainstream industry has distanced itself, for reasons ranging from allegations of harassment sexual assault. Skyhouse is also the publisher of anti-vaccine campaigner Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s inflammatory bestseller “The Real Anthony Fauci”.
Wylie disputed a report by online publication The Ankler, which claimed that Random House had abandoned the project due to doubts about certain Mailer’s work, including “The White Negro.” for white hipsters, living in “the enormous present”, abandoning “the pleasures of the mind for the more obligatory pleasures of the body”.
James Baldwin criticized Mailer for perpetuating the “myth of negro sexuality”
When asked if he would confirm the Ankler report, Wylie replied, “That’s not the problem at all.” When asked why Random House isn’t releasing the book, Wylie called it an “editorial decision” and added “There really is no problem here.”
Mailer, who died in 2007, was one of the most famous and controversial authors of his lifetime and has long been a part of the Random House legacy, which includes Mailer’s peers such as Truman Capote and William Styron. He received Pulitzer Prizes for “Armies of the Night” and “The Executioner’s Song”, but has also been widely condemned for his writings on race, for his admittedly misogynistic views and for the stabbing of his second wife. , Adele Morales, in 1960.
While news of Random House not releasing the new collection led to allegations on social media that Mailer was “canceled,” his books remain widely available through Random House and the Library of America, which have published editions at permanent binding of his work. “The White Negro” can easily be found online, including Dissent magazine, where the essay first appeared.
But interest in his work has faded sharply, especially compared to contemporaries like Baldwin. According to NPD BookScan, which tracks about 85% of the print market, the combined sales of four of Mailer’s best-known books – “Armies of the Night,” “The Naked and the Dead,” “The Executioner’s Song” and “The Fight” – were less than 4,000 copies in 2021.
One of Mailer’s sons, Michael Mailer, told the AP that Random House had suggested a centennial project. The family, along with Mailer J. biographer Michael Lennon, “came up with a proposal for a collection of political essays on democracy that they loved, then later decided not to proceed due to objections, putatively. , of certain subordinate executives “.
A spokesperson for Random House did not respond directly to allegations about the book’s content, saying in a statement, “It is factually incorrect that Random House has canceled an upcoming Norman Mailer essay book. We did not have this collection under contract. Random House continues to post much of the Norman Mailer backlist.
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