Wilkes University

J. Michael Lennon

J. Michael Lennon

J. Michael Lennon Biography | Wilkes Creative Writing program | Multimedia


J. Michael Lennon, vice president emeritus for academic affairs, professor emeritus of English and co-founder of the graduate creative writing program at Wilkes University, released his new biography of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning author Norman Mailer.

Lennon's two-volume edition, Mailer: The Sixties, was published by the Library of America in March 2018. His biography, Norman Mailer: A Double Life (2013) was chosen as an "Editors' Choice" book by the New York Times Book Review and was one of Amazon's top twenty nonfiction books of the year. The paperback edition, published October, 2104, was chosen as the top paperback bio for October by the Times of London. In 2014 Random House published his edition, Selected Letters of Norman Mailer. Other books include a bio-bibliography, Norman Mailer: Works and Days (2018) (with Donna Pedro Lennon); and three edited volumes: Conversations with Norman Mailer (1988), The James Jones Reader (1991), and Mailer's The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing (2003). He is the past president of The Norman Mailer Society and past president of The James Jones Literary Society, and serves as Chair of the Editorial Board of The Mailer Review. He is a regular reviewer Times Literary Supplement (London), where he has written on Mailer, Joan Didion, John O’Hara, Don DeLillo, Gore Vidal, and Muhammad Ali.  His work has also appeared in The Mailer Review, New Yorker, Paris Review, Hippocampus, Provincetown Arts, Chicago Tribune, New York and New England Review. He co-authored Mailer's last book, On God: An Uncommon Conversation (2007), and in 2012, edited Mailer's biography of Marilyn Monroe, Norman Mailer/Bert Stern: Marilyn Monroe, for Taschen Books. He also edited the Taschen edition of Mailer's The Fight (2016), and contributed the introduction to the Taschen edition of Mailer's essay on JFK, "Superman Comes to the Supermarket" (2014). His documentary, James Jones: From Reveille to Taps, was shown on PBS in 1984, and The Lincolns of Springfield, Illinois was shown in 1990. He was executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Illinois-Springfield from 1972-1992, and is Emeritus Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Emeritus Professor of English at Wilkes University. He continues to teach in the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing, which he co-founded, and for The Mailer Center, and serves on the advisory boards of both, and also Etruscan Press. He is currently writing a memoir. 

Wilkes University offers the M.A./M.F.A. in Creative Writing with areas of study in creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, screenwriting and playwriting. New in 2014 are genres in publishing and making documentary films. Mailer, who died in 2007 at 84, was the founding chair of the program’s advisory board. Lennon co-founded the program with program director Bonnie Culver.

 

 Multimedia - 'Norman Mailer: A Double Life'

 

  
 
Norman Mailer: A Double Life Reviews

Norman Mailer: The Sixties interviews


J. Michael Lennon
-- (Advisory Board Member, Faculty) Nonfiction Writer, Program Co-Founder.
J. Michael Lennon is the late Norman Mailer's archivist, editor, and authorized biographer. Norman Mailer: A Double Life (2013) was chosen as an "Editors' Choice" book by the New York Times Book Review and was one of Amazon's top twenty nonfiction books of the year. The paperback edition, published October, 2104, was chosen as the top paperback bio for October by the Times of London. He recently edited Selected Letters of Norman Mailer (2014). Other books include: On God: An  Uncommon Conversation (with Mailer, 2007), Norman Mailer: Works and Days (2000) (with Donna Pedro Lennon), the recipient of a Choice Magazine award for "outstanding scholarly title" in 2001; and three edited volumes: Conversations with Norman Mailer (1988), The James Jones Reader (1991), and Mailer's The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing (2003). He is the current president of The Norman Mailer Society and past president of The James Jones Literary Society, and serves as Chair of the Editorial Board of The Mailer Review. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Mailer Review, New York Review of Books, James Jones Literary Society Journal, Playboy, Creative Nonfiction, Times Literary Supplement, Hippocampus, Provincetown Arts, Chicago Tribune, New York, New England Review, and the Journal of Modern Literature, among others. He co-authored Mailer's last book, On God: AnUncommon Conversation (2007), and in 2012, edited Mailer's biography of Marilyn Monroe, Norman Mailer/Bert Stern: Marilyn Monroe, also for Taschen. Recently, he edited the Taschen edition of Mailer's The Fight (fall, 2016), and contributed the introduction to the Taschen edition of Mailer's essay on JFK, "Superman Comes to the Supermarket" (2014). His documentary, James Jones: From Reveille to Taps, was shown on PBS in 1984, and The Lincolns of  Springfield, Illinois was shown in 1990. He was a faculty member and executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Illinois-Springfield from 1972-1992, and is Emeritus Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Emeritus Professor of English at Wilkes University. He continues to teach in the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing, which he co-founded, and for The Mailer Center, and serves on the advisory boards of both, and also Etruscan Press. He served from 2005-2007 as a literary consultant at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas-Austin. He is currently editing (with Susan Mailer) "Lipton's," Mailer's 1953-54 marijuana journal, and all of Mailer's major works for the Library of America. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Rhode Island.

Videos
 "Mike Discusses Norman Mailer and Jack Abbott"
 Recorded at Wilkes University, 2012
"Mike Discusses Norman Mailer's Letters"
Recorded at Wilkes University, 2012
 "Norman Mailer a ‘relentless innovator’ with writing"
J. Michael Lennon talks with The Cycle hosts
about how Norman Mailer changed American literature.
 MSNBC's The Cycle, 11/26/13

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