Great American Novelist, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and would-be New York City mayor Norman Mailer is getting a timely touch-up of his oeuvre to entice new young readers, Random House announced earlier today. Eight of his works will be published in e-book format for the first time, and Random House will also publish a new essay collection of Mailer's, as well as repackaged paperbacks.
“Norman was an American original both on the page and in life,” Random House president Gina Centrello wrote in an e-mail to The New York Times. “Random House and his readers miss him tremendously. It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to relaunch these books for a new generation.”
Though he died in 2007, young people may know the brawling, boozing Brooklyn novelist from any number of pop culture references. He's been mentioned by name in songs by Jay Z and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and even guest-starred on an episode of Gilmore Girls.
Still, it remains to be seen whether young people know about Mailer because they respect his influential works, including his Pulitzer Prize-winning books The Executioner's Song and The Armies of the Night. Instead, they just might know him for his scandalous travails with six different wives, which probably wouldn't lead people to purchase his books. Random House certainly hopes it's the former, and that they can sell his works digitally, but that won't be answered until 2016, when his backlist books will be fully published. So, as Mailer himself wrote, this story is "To be continued."
(Photo of older Norman Mailer: AP Photo/Lisa Poole)