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Norman Mailer Dead at 84

Prolific, outspoken novelist Norman Mailer passed away this morning at Mount Sinai hospital, where he'd been admitted several weeks ago with respiratory problems. A true New York character, both colorful and controversial, Mailer co-founded The Village Voice, penned over 30 books, directed four movies, won two Pulitzer Prizes, and tossed at least one drink at Gore Vidal. A fascinating man with an ego to match, Mailer was nothing if not captivating, and the world of letters won't be the same without his bluff and bravado. Earlier:The Rise of Mailerism [NYM] Father to Son: What I've Learned About Rage [NYM]

How to Make Easton Ellis’s Imaginary Lit Feud More Interesting

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God, are literary feuds lame lately — even, or especially, fake ones. Watch, for example, today's Daily News try to imply there's some beef afoot between Bret Easton Ellis and mentee Jeff Hobbs. What happened? Ellis didn't show up to the book party (at the Box, natch) for Hobbs's novel, The Tourists, about misbehaving Yale grads. The third paragraph casually mentions that Ellis lives in L.A., and the best evidence Rush and Molloy can dig up on the rift is that Ellis and Hobbs haven't seen talked in "three or four weeks." Say it ain't so! If they're determined to find a fight, we suggest they pick up on Ellis's quote in which he says Hobbs "has a lot of interesting things to say about that generation's fluidity about sexuality," and then plainly, just this side of legally, allege Ellis's own "fluidity" with Hobbs: Why else would he even be expected to fly cross-country to the Box in the first place? Then, suddenly, the news item's joke about "the well-endowed (um, with literary talent) Ellis" doesn't, um, dangle. Odds of a Rift Between Ellis and Protege: Less Than Zero [NYDN]