Mailer's Longtime Mistress Sells Papers to Harvard

By: Jay Lindsay
By: Jay Lindsay


BOSTON (AP) -- An actress and writer who said she was Norman Mailer's former longtime mistress has sold papers that include lengthy accounts of their sex life and hand-edited drafts of her writing to Harvard University, Mailer's alma mater.

Carole Mallory saved seven boxes of material she said she collected during Mailer's weekly visits between 1983 to 1992, while Mailer was married to his sixth and last wife, Norris Church.

"We'd have a writing lesson, we'd make love and then go to lunch in whatever order that would be, and I saved all the writing lessons," said Mallory, 66. "I wanted him to teach me to be a writer. He was one of our greatest writers in America."

Mallory, who appeared in movies including "The Stepford Wives" and modeled, won't say how much she was paid for materials, and neither will Harvard. The school received the papers within the last month, said Beth Brainard, spokeswoman for the Harvard library. She said the school pursued the papers because of Mailer's importance as a writer, and because he's a Harvard grad.

"It's important to have Mailer represented in some way in the collection," Brainard said.

Mailer, who died last November at age 84, sold his own archives to the University of Texas for $2.5 million.

Mallory, who lives in Jeffersonville, Pa., said she waited to release his papers until after his death out of respect for Mailer and his family. She said she decided to sell the papers because she "knew they were valuable," and also wanted them to be a part of history.

The collection includes photos, transcripts of interviews with Mailer, handwritten edits of Mallory's work and scraps from writing lessons he gave. Mallory still recalls the principles Mailer emphasized, such as: keep the dialogue punchy; stay away from adverbs; don't lecture the reader.

The collection also contains Mallory's unpublished memoir, including a 20-page sex scene with Mailer, and a 50-page sex scene she said was based on her relationship with Mailer that she wrote for one of her books. She said Mailer had challenged her to write one that long.

"I don't believe in shame," Mallory said. "I believe in making love and love. I'm not going to go around and harbor secrets or shame about ... loving someone. And I don't think sex is something to be ashamed of."

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