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Release: Immediate

Norman Mailer will give reading May 8 at the University of Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Norman Mailer, boisterous elder statesman of American letters, will read from his work at 8 p.m. Friday, May 8 in Buchanan Auditorium of the Pappajohn Business Administration Building on the University of Iowa campus. The reading, sponsored by the UI Writers' Workshop and Prairie Lights Books, is free and open to the public.

In a widely chronicled career that began with the 1948 publication of his first best-seller, "The Armies of the Night," which described the 25-year-old author's experiences as a U.S. Army rifleman during World War II, Mailer has written 30 books, all the while courting controversy and winning acclaim.

He has won the Pulitzer Prize twice and the National Book Award. His books include "The Naked and the Dead," "The Executioner's Song," "Marilyn," "The Prisoner of Sex" and "Harlot's Ghost." His most recent book is a novel, "The Gospel According to the Son," told from the point of view of Jesus.

As master of the "non-fiction novel," Mailer has tackled weighty subjects that later became emblems of their eras. He has written about the Vietnam War, feminism, religion and American electoral politics. He is a devout boxing enthusiast. His meticulously researched books often blur the line between literary journalism and fiction, a paradox Mailer encourages by describing himself as a character in many of his works.

Harold Bloom writes that Mailer is "a historian of the moral consciousness of his era. (He is) the representative writer of his generation."

Mailer has been chronicler as well as an active participant in the culture at large. He was co-founder of the Village Voice in 1955. In 1969 he ran for mayor of New York City. He was president of American PEN from 1984 to 1986. He also has directed four feature-length films, including "Tough Guys Don't Dance."