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Norman Mailer’s Widow Dies

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Nov 22 – Nov 28, 2010 Edition Norman Mailer’s Widow Dies

NEW YORK, NY/AUTHORLINK NEWS/November 22, 2010–Norris Church Mailer died at her home in Brooklyn Heights, New York on Sunday, November 21, 2010. She was the wife of author Norman Mailer, who died three years earlier, on November 10, 2007.

Earlier this year Ms. Mailer published a memoir of her life entitled “A Ticket to the Circus,” and is the author of two novels, “Windchill Summer” and “Cheap Diamonds,” all published by Random House. Random House President and Publisher Gina Centrello says “Norris’s effervescence, grace, wit, and writing talents enraptured us at Random House almost as much she enraptured Norman with them. Publishing her was a pleasure, and we will miss her dearly. We are proud to be the longtime publisher of the Mailer family.”

Norris Mailer was born January 31, 1949, and grew up in Atkins, Arkansas. She married Larry Norris in 1969, gave birth to a son, Matthew, in 1971, and was divorced in 1974. In 1975, she was living in Russellville, Arkansas where she was a painter and taught high-school art; she had also written about a hundred pages toward a novel (which she would later reshape into “Windchill Summer” and publish in 2000). She had read Norman Mailer’s biography of Marilyn Monroe, and in 1975 attended an Arkansas party for him. Subsequently, they dated, had one son whom they named John Buffalo in 1978, and were married in New York city in 1980. She took on her former married name as first name, “Norris”, and took Mailer’s suggestion of “Church”, evoking her intensive religious upbringing, as a surname.

In later years she attended the Actors Studio, and became an actress and playwright. She soon became the artistic director of the Provincetown Repertory Theater, and she continued to develop into an accomplished painter with exhibitions throughout the United States. In recent years she sat on the board of the Norman Mailer Society and was the Co-Founder of the Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony.