November 13th, 2007 at 4:07 am

It is difficult to fathom the passing of someone so great, so relevant, so significant; so writerishly.

You write The Great American Novel. You found the Village Voice. You win Pulitzers. And you still die.

Jeez, it seems like it was only yesterday that I was watching BookTV and seeing Norman give a dual interview with Gunter Grass. Those were the days! Now they have wilted and succumbed to the harsh, whimpering winter of reality…

(Speaking of hot interviews, can we please get Jhumpa Lahiri to moderate an interview of Zadie Smith and Marisha Pessl???)

Unlike the recent passing of great American writers who I’ve read, like Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Norman Mailer did not die from a fall nor a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but nonetheless and regardless, I look forward to exploring and ingesting his greatness posthumously. Public Library: here I come!

They say that deaths come in threes. I have recently endured the death of an Uncle, a Grandmother, and a Cat, so it must be true. Appropriately so I suppose, following the death of a writer of such stature as Norman Mailer comes news of the passing of none other than Donda West, the mother of rapper Kanye West.

Yes, she’s an author.

I haven’t read Mailer. You haven’t read West.

So Norman is 1. Donda is 2. Who will be three? My money is on Tom Wolfe.

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