From Publishers Weekly
In 2003, hard at work and happily ensconced at his home in Provincetown, Mass., Norman Mailer invited young writer Raymond, a casual acquaintance, to become his assistant, beginning a relationship that would change Raymond's life and ease the end of the literary icon's. Raymond's responsibilities were varied, including researcher, cook, critic, and technology liaison, enabling him to catalog Mailer's idiosyncrasies in work and home life ("He would suggest I buy the best possible wine for dinner guests and then ask me to make sure we had plenty of Hershey's Bars"). Raymond was clearly enchanted with Mailer, and this intimate but respectful look at Mailer's life is entirely free of mudslinging; Mailer is portrayed as a devoted husband (to sixth wife Barbara), and an indulgent father. Through devoted eyes, Mailer emerges a witty, hard-working, tragic figure: discussing the Norman Mailer Society, he complains that "most authors are dead who have these societies. I feel slightly pushed ahead." Raymond also captures the sobering moments of a legend approaching its end, including a particular moving scene in which the extended family gathers around Mailer in a hospital room, passing around a clandestine rum cocktail.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“So tender and funny that you don’t even have to be a Norman Mailer fan to be moved by it...You just have to be a fan of great men, valiantly facing the decline of their powers until they become, against their will, examples to us all.” (Esquire)
“Charming and poignant....From a firsthand observer like Raymond, you get a view of a writer you simply don’t from a more formal biography.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)
“Tender...An illuminating look at the mind and methods of a Pulitzer Prize winner.” (Boston Globe)
“Refreshingly, critically candid...The book is a quick 340 pages that could be read in a hurry or just as easily savored, digested, and considered.” (Cape Cod Life)
“Mornings with Mailer is an affectionate recollection of Raymond’s time with Mailer…Of course, Raymond spent more than just mornings with Mailer, and the book describes the small moments with great warmth.” (Cape Cod Times)
“A frank and tender account...Enlightening, rooted in the accumulation of everyday detail, from which a meticulous, deeply sympathetic portrait of Mailer emerges. (Out Magazine)
“Mornings With Mailer is a tender and affectionate view of the protean author at the end of the Big Novel that was his life. Dwayne Raymond’s book offers a uniquely intimate perspective on one of our literary giants. Applause.” (Tom Piazza, author of City of Refuge)
“In this moving memoir, Dwayne Raymond provides an intimate look at the daily routine of a great writer in the last years of his life. Raymond poignantly describes how Mailer fought like a lion to continue writing even as age and illness slowed him down.” (Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Team of Rivals)
“Dwayne Raymond adds another dimension to our appreciation of a great man’s genius, the paradoxes of his genial belligerence, his obstinacy at once maddening and endearing, and his unaffected originality. This is a fascinating touching memoir, and often funny too.” (Harry Evans, New York Times bestselling author of They Made America)