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New Journalism

Here’s to you, Mr. Mailer

in Fiction by

It’s high praise when Joan Didion declares you the only person capable of writing a particular story. This is a woman who knows from voice. In her review of Norman Mailer’s 1979’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Executioner’s Song, Didion says, “I think no one but Mailer could have dared this book. The authentic Western voice, the voice heard [here], is one heard often in life but only rarely in literature.” Mailer, who died in 2007 at age 84, helped spearhead a movement known as “new journalism,” a term often used to describe the work of Truman Capote and Tom Wolfe, wherein the storytelling techniques of a novel are grafted on to real life. It’s not quite fiction and it’s not…

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