Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eight great literary love affairs

Jessica Ferri is a writer at work on her first book.

She named eight famous literary affairs for The Daily Beast. One couple on her list:
Norman Mailer and Norris Church Mailer

Although Norman Mailer had tried to kill his second wife with a penknife at a party, Norris Church, a 26-year-old single mom from Arkansas, still went for him and became his sixth and last wife. She would write him sweet little poems: "You were there / and I was there / in a pocket / of sunshine / in a vacuum of space." In her memoir, A Ticket to the Circus, Church writes that Mailer was constantly unfaithful to her, and she considered leaving him—"why had I been so consumed by this old, fat, bombastic, lying little dynamo?" But as stepmother to his eight children and with a child of their own, she felt their family was reason to stay. "I had been around town long enough to know the guys who were available, and I thought: Is there somebody else I want to make a life with? Is there someone else I want to be the father of my children? I couldn't think of one single person. If I had, maybe I would have taken that step." Plus, as she said in a recent New York Times interview, "The sex was always great. That was the glue that held all this mess together, or the honey."
Read about the other affairs on the list.

Also see: Norris Church Mailer: five best memoirs.

--Marshal Zeringue