Hello all. I’m a new face around here. My name is Steve Pollak and I blog about books at Jewish Literary  

No, that’s not my picture. That’s Norman Mailer and, as you know from previous posts on this site, he died on Saturday.

For my first post here at Jewlicious, I thought I’d bring your attention to Mailer’s self-written obit. He actually wrote it 28 years before he died.

Back in 1979, Boston magazine asked Mailer and a few others to compose their own obituaries. As you might expect, Mailer made fun of himself, his critics and, of course, all those ex-wives. The magazine republished the piece yesterday on their blog.

Here’s a sample:  

At present, interest revolves around the estate. Executors have warned that Mailer, although earning an average income of one and a half million dollars a year, has had to meet an annual overhead of two million, three hundred thousand, of which two million, two hundred and fifty thousand went in child support, alimony, and back IRS payments. It is estimated that his liabilities outweigh his assets by eight million, six hundred thousand.

When asked, on occasion why he married so often, the former Pulitzer Prize winner replied, “To get divorced. You don’t know anything about a woman until you meet her in court.” 

The rest of Mailer’s prescient wisdom can be found on the Boston Daily blog. It’s definitely worth a look. Curiously, he left out anything about where he wanted relatives to sit shiva or who would say Kaddish. Then again, he was always somewhat ambiguous about being a Jew.

Cross posted at

About the author

Loading comments...