Norman Mailer was checked into Mount Sinai Hospital’s critical care unit yesterday with severe respiratory problems, The Post reported this morning. His ex-wife Carol Mailer told The Post that Mr. Mailer’s lung collapsed, and that although surgeons successfully removed the scar tissue, the 84-year-old writer is "not in very good shape."
Although an in-law told The Post that "everything’s fine" and that "he’s recovering," his children are reportedly "holding daily vigils at his bedside."
According to Jynne Martin, Mr. Mailer’s publicist at Random House, the Post story exaggerated the urgency of the situation. "Contrary to the sensationalized NY Post report, Norman is recovering from surgery, and is doing well," Ms. Martin wrote in an e-mail.
This is the second time the New York literary icon has been hospitalized since Labor Day weekend. Over the course of the last month, he has canceled several public appearances for health reasons, including one at the New Yorker Festival and one at the 92nd Street Y.
Mr. Mailer’s new book, On God, which takes the form of an extended dialogue with his longtime literary executor Michael Lennon, was published yesterday by Random House.