Mornings with Mailer
A Recollection of Friendship
By Dwayne Raymond
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061733598, 352pp.)
Publication Date: February 2010
Categories: Personal Memoirs
In the spring of 2003, Norman Mailer, who was then eighty years old, invited an improbable companion into his life: Dwayne Raymond, a young writer who was waiting tables at a restaurant in Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, where Mailer spent most of his final years. Raymond became Mailer's aide in all matters professional and private, assisting the Pulitzer Prizewinning author on the four books he published during this time, including his last novel, The Castle in the Forest. As Raymond's responsibilities grew, so too did his closeness to Mailer, who in turn taught him how to navigate his own personal challenges.
In this touching memoir, Dwayne Raymond presents a loving portrait of Norman Mailer in his twilight years, depicting a quirky and complex but achingly human man so unlike the Mailer of disquieting legend. Beautifully written and honestly portrayed, Mornings with Mailer is a personal and revealing story of a great writer, his man Friday, and their unlikely but enduring friendship.
Dwayne Raymond worked with Norman Mailer from April 2003 until Mailer's death in November 2007. Raymond contributes regularly to the Huffington Post, and has written for The New York Times Brief Guide to Essential Knowledge, The Mirror, In Newsweekly, and The Boston Reader. He lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.
“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