Born in 1923 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Norman Mailer was one of the most influential writers of the second half of the 20th century and a leading public intellectual for nearly sixty years. He is the author of more than thirty books." The Castle in the Forest," his last novel, was his eleventh "New York Times "bestseller. His first novel, "The Naked and the Dead," has never gone out of print. His 1968 nonfiction narrative, "The Armies of the Night," won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He won a second Pulitzer for "The Executioner's Song" and is the only person to have won Pulitzers in both fiction and nonfiction. Five of his books were nominated for National Book Awards, and he won a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in 2005. Mr. Mailer died in 2007 in New York City. Jonathan Lethem is the author of eight novels, including most recently "Dissident Gardens." A recipient of the MacArthur fellowship, Lethem has published his stories and essays in "The New Yorker, Harper's, Rolling Stone, Esquire, " and "The""New York Times, " among others. He lives in California. Phillip Sipiora is a professor of English and film studies at the University of South Florida. He is the author or editor of four books and has lectured nationally and internationally on twentieth-century literature and film. He is a longtime scholar of Norman Mailer and the editor of "The Mailer Review."