American author, filmmaker, actor and political activist Norman Mailer burst onto the scene with 1948’s The Naked and the Dead, a novel based on his personal experiences of WWII. Quickly hailed as one of the country’s most promising young writers, Mailer spent the next six decades in the limelight – achieving notoriety not just for his literary achievements, but for his chauvinism, political outspokenness, and combative public persona.
For J. Peder Zane’s 2007 book The Top Ten – which also brought us the bookshelves of Stephen King and Tom Wolfe – Mailer provided a glimpse into his own literary influences in a list of his ten all-time favorite novels. Including classics by Tolstoy, Flaubert and Dostoyevsky, Mailer wrote:
“I find that the books I think of as great were read when I was still a young and unpublished writer, with the exception of Buddenbrooks and Labyrinths.”
The U.S.A. Trilogy by John Dos Passos
(via The Top Ten)