Writer’s Block at Norman Mailer’s House
Travel Blog • Eva Holland • 11.18.10 | 1:01 PM ET
The Smart Set has a dispatch from Provincetown, where freelancer Amy Rowland spent a month as a fellow at Norman Mailer’s house-turned-writers’ retreat—and found herself unable to write. Here’s Rowland:
We were encouraged to write in Mailer’s house, but I found I couldn’t. Sitting in the living room, where Mailer kept dinner companions waiting while he finished writing in the attic, was like trying to write in a shrine. There were photos on the wall: Mailer with Vidal, Mailer with Plimpton, Mailer with Castro, Mailer with Vonnegut, Mailer with Jackie Kennedy.
Once, I wandered out to the porch and plopped down in a white rocking chair with faded pink cushions.
“That was Mailer’s chair,” someone said. “That’s where he sat to watch the water.”
I jumped up from the chair and went back to the wall of photos.