life with norman


The voice explains a lot. You think, how could any woman live with the famously moody writer Norman Mailer for 33 years, and then you hear Norris Church Mailer’s soft, authoritative, Marilyn Monroe-ish voice, with its 61-year-old Arkansas twang still intact, and you have a revelation about men and women. It is important to remember that “A Ticket to the Circus” (Random House: 432 pp., $26) is Norris’s own memoir, not Norman’s — not even Mrs. Mailer’s. It is the story of a girl, born in Arkansas in 1949, who came of age in the 1960s and struggled to find her way of contributing to the world, which was still a man’s world. She was very tall and, by all accounts, beautiful — that made life both harder and easier (probably in equal measure).

more from Susan Salter Reynolds at the LAT here.