OGDEN, Utah – Renowned author Norman Mailer, who is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning works "The Armies of the Night" (1968) and "The Executioner's Song" (1979), will present an interactive presentation March 31 at noon in Weber State University's Shepherd Union Ballroom.
The presentation, part of WSU's Convocation Lecture series, will feature readings by Mailer combined with opportunities for the audience to respond and interact with him.
"He received quite a bit of criticism for writing 'The Executioner's Song,' but his writing is just so phenomenal," says Nikki Nicholas, coordinator for WSU student programs. "It's exciting to bring someone of his caliber to campus."
Mailer's appearance is sponsored by Student Activities in conjunction with WSU's National Undergraduate Literature Conference. The conference, which runs from March 30 to April 2, is the only one in the nation solely devoted to helping students hone their writing skills.
Mailer, who hails from Brooklyn, N.Y. by way of Long Branch, N.J., is credited as one of the innovators of the nonfiction novel. Mailer's literary career spans six decades and includes: "The Naked And The Dead" (1948), "The Spooky Art" (2003) and Hollywood screenplays "An American Dream" (1965) and "Tough Guys Don't Dance" (1987). At nine, Mailer wrote his first story, the 250-page "Invasion From Mars" in a series of notebooks. In 1941, Mailer won Story magazine's college contest while studying at Harvard University, where he received a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering. Mailer, who served in the South Pacific as a sergeant for the U.S. Army during WWII, became well known as a biographer and even an anti-establishment essayist.
As Nicholas sees it, Mailer will have much to share with the convocation audience.
"So many people have a secret desire to write a book; why not find out about it from someone who's been there?"
Mailer's presentation is free to the public. For more information about the conference or the Convocation presentation, visit weber.edu/nulc/.