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Author Norman Mailer

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Author Norman Mailer

Author Norman Mailer

Author Norman Mailer

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Norman Mailer AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Norman Mailer once wrote that before he was 17, he'd formed the desire to be a major writer. That wish certainly came true. One political campaign, two Pulitzer Prizes and an unprecedented level of controversy later, he's a literary grandee unlike any other.

Mailer's latest novel is Harlot's Ghost, a CIA epic that stretches to a sprawling 1,300 pages. And that's just the first volume. This interview originally aired on Oct. 8, 1991.