The Brooklyn Eagle’s Brad Lockwood profiles John Buffalo Mailer, son of the late Norman Mailer:
Brooklyn Eagle: John Buffalo Mailer…: It has been a year since Norman Mailer died, and John Buffalo is his youngest child. His mother, Norris Church Mailer, generously opened her Brooklyn Heights home to us recently, and the extraordinary literary history of this one family continues despite the loss of the patriarch. Norris is an acclaimed novelist, now completing a memoir, and most of the Mailer children are involved in the arts. John Buffalo’s résumé includes acting, directing, editing, producing and, of course, writing.
“I got published when I was a senior in college in a humble but classy publication called The Reading Room. But it was huge to me,” he remembers, while also addressing how his famous surname has affected his career.
“I try to focus on the work and not think about that any more than is psychologically necessary for my balance of mind. I’m incredibly proud of the legacy I come from—he’s half of me and there is no one in the world I would trade fathers with. No one. But being Norman Mailer’s son also forces you to step it up if you want to try to make a career in the arts. Aside from raised expectations, some justified, others not, one is left with the feeling that to publish or perform a piece that is not at a certain level of artistic integrity would be doing a disservice to the legacy. My hope is that I am never placed in a position of having to put work out there that I do not believe is up to that level. So, in that way, it keeps you honest.”