Sixty-six-year-old Carole Mallory has had many famous lovers, among them, she says, Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Richard Gere and Rod Stewart. “I rejected Jack Nicholson,” she told Pub Crawl in a phone interview Friday. “And I enjoyed Warren Beatty.”
Towering above them all was the late Norman Mailer, whom Ms. Mallory, a former model, actress and journalist, met at Elaine’s one night in 1983 and dated for nine years thereafter.
Over the course of this period—during which Mailer remained married to his sixth wife, Norris Church—Ms. Mallory accumulated a healthy collection of Mailer-related paraphernalia, much of which she recently sold as a collection to Harvard University for an undisclosed sum.
“Mailer’s papers themselves went to the University of Texas,” said Leslie Morris, the Harvard curator who made the acquisition, “but Mailer is a Harvard graduate, and I felt it was important to have him represented in some way in the collections here.”
According to Ms. Morris, Ms. Mallory’s collection contains some correspondence from Mailer, as well as photographs, transcripts of interviews Ms. Mallory conducted with him and an unpublished roman à clef she wrote about their relationship (featuring a 50-page sex scene!) that Mailer marked up with notes and edits. The collection also contains scraps that Ms. Mallory saved from writing lessons that Mailer gave her on a regular basis throughout their relationship.
“He taught me to write,” Ms. Mallory said. “He gave me a hit list once—a dos and don’ts for writers. It was very funny. There were 10 of them and they were very, very good.” Among them, she recalled, were “Stamp out minutia; they are cockroaches”; “Avoid mother knows best; don’t lecture your readers”; and an admonition against adverbs, which Mailer hated.
According to Ms. Mallory, she and Mailer carried on their affair until 1991, at which point they broke up because she wouldn’t let him edit a landmark joint interview she had conducted with him and his lifelong enemy Gore Vidal. The interview, which Ms. Mallory conducted at the Plaza Hotel, appeared in May 1991 issue of Esquire, accompanied by a cartoon of Mailer and Mr. Vidal kissing.