A Ticket to the Circus

I’ve just finished reading Norris Church Mailer’s memoir, “A Ticket to the Circus”. The sixth and last wife of author Norman Mailer and a very good writer in her own right—she has effectively presented her life’s story in a truly engaging manner.

Born in Arkansas, she married young, became a wonderfully rebellious art teacher and mother by her early twenties. After moving on from her first marriage, in what seems like a fated meeting, she met a man who would turn her life upside down, for better or worse. It was easy to admire this free spirited southern girl, who followed her heart and never shied away from a challenge. I think Norman Mailer truly met his match in her. She was an accomplished artist, did some modeling and occasional acting, all while managing Norman’s life & their household of collective children (8 total).

Photograph of Norris, John Buffalo & Norman: Joel Meyerowitz ©2009

Norman eventually dealt treacherously with her, as he did most women he had relationships with, through numerous indiscretions – although ultimately she did decide to stay and in time they got their marriage back on solid ground once again. Finding someone who you connect with that strongly is a rare thing in life and I think we all know this to be true in our heart of hearts and I believe that’s what kept them together.

The memoir lays bare the joys and challenges of both living the creative life and also living with a creative force like Norman; balancing this with travel commitments and a busy home life with their children – I highly recommend Norris’s book, I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed.


2 thoughts on “A Ticket to the Circus

  1. I think you’ll like it…let me know what you think if you pick it up. My library had it.

    And thanks so much!


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