Barry leeds

The Enduring Vision of Norman Mailer


"Leeds' ideas are engaging, his enthusiasm infectious, and his prose mercifully free of critical jargon…. Recommended for contemporary literature collections."

-William Gargan, Brooklyn College Librarian, in Library Journal, Dec. 2001

Non-Fiction: Criticism / ISBN: 1-929355-11-4

Price: $18 (trade paperback) * 195 pages


"The Enduring Vision of Norman Mailer is precisely that: an enduring vision of one of our finest, most controversial writers.  Insightful, incisive, witty, compelling--the volume suggests provocative ways of looking at a major writer in his own time.  Part memoir, part traditional criticism, Leeds' study virtually defines a new genre of literary scholarship." - Barbara Lupack, author of Insanity as Redemption in Contemporary American Fiction

"Barry Leeds' The Enduring Vision of Norman Mailer attests eloquently that one great reason we read literature at all is to discover and assimilate and follow a way of life which honors us. So one obvious mandate arising from this latest confluence of Mailer and Leeds might be: we can live what we passionately intelligently believe in, and we must be who we say we are. I honor both men for just that." - Anthony Piccione, author of Anchor Dragging, Seeing It Was So, and For the Kingdom



"Readers familiar with Barry Leeds' earlier work on Mailer and Kesey will find here the lucid prose they have come to expect. Leeds' The Enduring Vision of Norman Mailer is refreshingly free of academic jargon and ideological baggage. But more than that, it is an honest, personal book--at once engaged and authoritative. Leeds illuminates the fugue-like nature of Mailer's oeuvre, the central themes of his major texts, and the perspicacity of his vision of our historical and political circumstances in contemporary America. A wonderful, informative read." - Bob Begiebing, author of The Adventures of Allegra Fullerton and The Strange Death of Mistress Coffin


"I enjoyed reading [The Enduring Vision of Norman Mailer] immensely; it is a fine addition to the Mailer critical canon. What is especially impressive is Leeds' knowledge of and insights into An American Dream. They are clearly the hub of the book, and rightly so. The LaMotta / DeNiro / Rojack stuff grabs me, and the moving final chapter. The Epilogue is lovely too." - J. Michael Lennon, Mailer Archivist and co-author, Norman Mailer: Works and Days




Following are some comments about Barry H. Leeds' earlier work, The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer:


"…learned literary analysis and brilliant perceptions."- Jane McCoy, The Miami Herald


"This book … deserves high marks on a number of counts…. Leeds follows [Mailer's] evolution with enthusiasm and clarity. His choice of quotes from Mailer's texts is unerringly relevant." - William Trotter, The Charlotte Observer


"[Barry Leeds'] analyses are a mark of splendid research and of remarkable examination of an author's intent as well as accomplishment." - The Jewish News


"… a significant contribution to Mailer scholarship."  - Joseph Walmeir, Journal of Modern Literature


"Mailer's work has nowhere else been so extensively probed. Readers will find here not only clarification and explication, but also a series of urgent and forceful comments on the world in which we live. The time is now." - The New Critic


Barry H. Leeds, CSU distinguished Professor of English at Central Connecticut State University, is author of Ken Kesey (Ungar) and The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer (NYU Press). The Enduring Vision of Norman Mailer is Prof. Barry H. Leeds' second book about one of America's most respected, most controversial, and most prolific of authors. It looks at Mailer from where Leeds' first volume left off and takes him on through his most recent works. In addition, it reveals a side of Mailer that only a friend and confidant would know, a side which Leeds has come to understand and appreciate. Leeds carefully and intelligently weaves this personal Mailer into the Mailer persona and the Mailer art. This is literary criticism with a heart and soul, and with an appreciation of subject which is so often missed in contemporary analyses of this sort.