80.9

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“In Prison.” New York Review of Books, 26 June, 34. In this 389-word note prefacing Jack Henry Abbott’s firsthand account of the violence in America’s prisons, Mailer says that Abbott’s “writing impressed me as being as good as any convict’s prose I had read since Eldridge Cleaver.” Abbott’s essay was later revised for his book, In the Belly of the Beast: Letters from Prison, for which Mailer wrote an introduction (81.10). Along with several others in the literary world, Mailer later helped Abbott gain parole, and hired him after his release. Abbott was convicted of murder in 1982. Mailer regularly attended his trial. See Abbott Affair entries.