Rita Halle Kleeman, December 20, 1963

From Project Mailer

142 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn 1, New York
December 20, 1963

Dear Rita Halle Kleeman,[1]

Normally I’d say yes and be pleased to be part of your discussion on March 2, but I’m afraid it’s not possible to speak anywhere for the next six months, since I’m doing a novel in serial form for Esquire and it takes up just about all of my time. I spoke at Wesleyan last week, and was not able to prepare properly, and had cause for embarrassment in the result. Now I’m also stuck for a debate with William Buckley after the first of the year, but outside of that nothing this year, nothing. Maybe 1965.

Yours sincerely,
Norman Mailer
This page is part of
An American Dream Expanded.


  1. Kleeman was a staff member at P.E.N., the international writers organization. Mailer served as President of the American branch, 1984-86. His letter turning down her invitation to speak is similar to many others not included in this edition. The gregarious Mailer knew that he had to say no or fail to complete his installments on time. The speech at Wesleyan University was a notable exception.