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Presides over the PEN International Congress meeting in New York, 12–18 January, attended by over a thousand writers from around the world. Mailer, who raises the bulk of the money to support the Congress, is criticized for inviting Secretary of State George P. Shultz to speak without consulting the board of PEN.

In the same month, “Strawhead” (86.25), a play adapted from Of Women and Their Elegance (80.15), is staged by the Actors Studio in New York with Kate Mailer as Marilyn Monroe.

From 14 October to 13 December, in Provincetown, he directs his own film script based on Tough Guys Don't Dance (84.17). It is produced for Cannon Films by Tom Luddy.