of the most influential writers of the past 50 years, Norman Mailer
wrestled in his fiction and nonfiction with fundamental questions of
God and the meaning of life. His last book, published just weeks before
his death, was "On God: An Uncommon Conversation," which recorded an
ongoing dialogue with his friend and literary executor, Michael Lennon.
Mailer rejected both atheism and organized religion, believing instead
in "an imperfect, existential God doing the best He (or She) could
manage against all the odds of an existence that not even He, our
Creator, entirely controlled." His God is a great artist, always
experimenting and highly fallible. Mailer previously published "The
Gospel According to the Son," written in the voice of Jesus, whom he
portrays as a human riddled with doubts. Author of more than 30 books,
Mailer once said, "The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if
necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people."
Text by Michael Kress and Ansley Roan