Mike Lovett rents a room in a Brooklyn boarding house with the intention of writing a novel. Wounded during World War II, Lovett is an amnesiac, and much of his past is a secret to himself. But Lovett's housemates have secrets of their own. As these mysterious figures vie for Lovett's allegiance, Barbary Shore plays havoc with our certainties, combining Kafkaesque unease with Orwellian paranoia and delivering its effects with a power that Mailer has made all his own.
Born in 1923 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Norman Mailer was one of the most influential writers of the second half of the twentieth century and a leading public intellectual for nearly sixty years. He is the author of more than thirty books. The Castle in the Forest, his last novel, was his eleventh New York Times bestseller. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead, has never gone out of print. His 1968 nonfiction narrative, The Armies of the Night, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He won a second Pulitzer for The Executioner’s Song and is the only person to date to have won Pulitzers in both fiction and nonfiction. Five of his books were nominated for National Book Awards, and he won a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in 2005. Norman Mailer died in 2007 in New York City.
Praise for Barbary Shore “A work of remarkable power, of amazing penetration, both into people and the determining forces of American life.”—The Atlantic Monthly
“Vibrant with life, abundant with real people . . . [Mailer has] a scintillating skill in observation, a mature sense of meaning.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer “This book is nothing short of amazing.”—Newsweek
“Barbary Shore [is] about the kind of country—and what you might call the psychic territory—that American war heroes were returning to.”—The Guardian Praise for Norman Mailer “[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”—The New York Times
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”—The New Yorker
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”—The Washington Post
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”—Life
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”—The New York Review of Books
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”—Chicago Tribune
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”—The Cincinnati Post