Winner of the 1980 Pulitzer Prize
Synopses & Reviews
In what is arguably his greatest book, written in 1979, America's most heroically ambitious writer follows the short, blighted career of Gary Gilmore, an intractably violent product of America's prisons who after robbing two men and killing them in cold blood insisted on dying for his crime. To do so, he had to fight a system that seemed intent on keeping him alive long after it had sentenced him to death.
Norman Mailer tells Gilmore's story and those of the men and women caught up in his procession toward the firing squad with implacable authority, steely compassion, and a restraint that evokes the parched landscapes and stern theology of Gilmore's Utah.
The Executioner's Song is a towering achievement, impossible to put down, impossible to forget.
"The big book no one but Mailer could have dared...absolutely astonishing." Joan Didion, The New York Times Book Review
"Literature of the highest order." Miami Herald
"A harrowing account...elevated by Mailer's genius into art." Houston Chronicle
About the Author
Norman Mailer was born in 1923 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. In 1955, he was one of the co-founders of The Village Voice. He is the author of more than thirty books, including The Naked and the Dead; The Armies of the Night, for which he won a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; The Executioner's Song, for which he won his second Pulitzer Prize; Harlot's Ghost; Oswald's Tale; The Gospel According to the Son, The Castle and the Forest and On God. He died in 2007.