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Molly Malone Cook:

An Inventory of Her Collection of Norman Mailer Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Cook, Molly Malone, 1925-2005
Title: Molly Malone Cook Collection of Norman Mailer
Dates: 1926-1999 (1970-1980)
Extent: 21 document boxes (8.82 linear feet), 1 oversize box (osb)
Abstract: The Molly Malone Cook Collection of Norman Mailer consists primarily of personal and professional papers gathered by Cook while employed by of American author Norman Mailer. The collection documents Mailer’s literary works, legal and financial records, correspondence, photographs, and newspaper clippings during the 1970s.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-5211
Language: English and German
Access: Open for research. Some Mailer family personal material restricted.



Acquisition: Purchase, 2010 (10-11-02-P)
Processed by: Felicia Spadoni, 2015
Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center


American author Norman Kingsley Mailer was born in Long Branch, New Jersey on January 31, 1923. A Harvard graduate and World War II Army veteran, he authored numerous books, articles, essays and other works between the years 1948 and 2010.
Molly Malone Cook was Norman Mailer’s secretary from 1972 to 1977. Cook aided Mailer in his daily activities from answering phones, following up on correspondence, as an intermediary between him and his literary agent, accountant, and lawyer. Cook also managed Mailer’s personal and business finances. In late 1977, Cook left Mailer’s employment due to disagreements over financial and travel arrangements. During this time she started her own literary agency, Molly Malone Cook Literary Agency.

Lennon, J. Michael. Norman Mailer: A Double Life. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 2013.
Lennon, J. Michael and Donna Pedro Lennon. Norman Mailer: Works and Days. Shavertown, PA: Slingo Press, 2000.
Mailer, Norris Church. A Ticket to the Circus. New York: Random House, 2010

The Molly Malone Cook Collection of Norman Mailer’s consists of Mailer’s correspondence, manuscripts, notes, legal, business, and financial records, photographs, newspaper clippings, and audio and video recordings dating from 1926 to 1999. The materials are arranged into five series: I. Literary and Other Activities, 1948-1991; II. Legal and Financial, 1969-1983; III. Correspondence, 1968-1993; IV. Family and Personal, 1960-1999; and V. Works and Correspondence by Others, 1926-1985.
The materials arrived at the Ransom Center in no apparent order and the current arrangement was imposed by Center staff. The contents of the original folder were kept together as filed and the original titles are used in the container list, when available. Photocopies of original folders with writing or other information were added to the corresponding folder’s contents.
Series I. Literary and Other Activities, 1948-1991 (1972-1977) contains records from Mailer’s literary and daily activities dating from 1948 to 1991. The bulk of the series consists of phone logs, notes, and research materials from the 1970s. Other materials include manuscripts, a baseball card game created by Mailer, serials, calendars, and address books. Also present are handwritten and typed manuscripts for an unrealized novel dating from the 1970s--parts of which appear in Ancient Evening, and for chapter 16 of Ancient Evenings, as well as for Mailer’s New York Times Magazine article “The Search for Carter” (1976). Also present are research materials and notes for St. George and the Godfather (1972), “The Search for Carter,”, and The Executioner’s Song (1977).
St. George and the Godfather materials include research and correspondence related to Mailer’s coverage of the democratic and republican conventions in 1972. Research materials for The Executioner’s Song are comprised of transcriptions of conversations between Molly Cook and Bessie Gilmore (Gary Gilmore’s mother), notes and questions from an interview with Bessie, notes from an interview with Gilmore family friend Grace McGinnis, and correspondence and permissions to interview Chris Anderson and Tolly Williams. Along with these materials are manuscripts written by Abby Hoffman (The Making of Abby Hoffman, 1974) and Gregory Hemmingway (Papa, 1976), for which Mailer wrote introductions, as well as correspondence between Abby Hoffman and Mailer related to Hoffman’s Chicago Seven trial. “The Search for Carter” (1976) is documented with a transcription of Mailer’s interview of presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, and a handwritten manuscript for the article. Ancient Evenings materials include handwritten and typed drafts. Additionally, the series includes Mailer’s Baseball Card Game, reviews of his works, correspondence from Mailer to Cook, and a handwritten draft of a letter to Edward Kennedy.
Series II. Legal and Financial, 1963-1983 (1974-1977) included a copy of Mailer’s will (1972), a Little Brown and Company Contract (1973), real estate documents, tax documentation, monthly bills, payments and financial records for Mailer’s wives, receipts from business and personal transactions, divorce correspondence and deposition from Beverly Mailer, and financial related correspondence. Included in the real estate documents are leases for properties rented, title certificate for a property owned in Maine, and correspondence about repairs need for Mailer’s boat Merlin. Among the divorce correspondence is Beverly Mailer’s complaint for divorce and motion for custody of their children. The deposition is an account by Mailer of his finances and properties owned. The financial correspondence consists of statements for services from Mailer’s CPA, Mason and Company, and his cousin Cy Rembar’s lawfirm, Rembar, Wolf, and Curtis. The series also includes correspondence from the Scott Meredith Literary Agency communicating information about royalty statements, income, agreements, and promissory notes.
Series III. Correspondence, 1968-1993, (1977-1980) includes incoming and outgoing letters between Mailer and his friends, fans, politicians, and organizations. The bulk of the series consists of general correspondence arranged by incoming date. Additionally, there are copies of letters from Mailer, correspondence from publishers requesting Mailer to read and review works by others, and a substantial amount of mail from a Mailer fan and devotee, Mirkla Marks. Also present is a transcript of a conversation between Molly Cook and Milton Esterow pertaining to an article that was promised to his magazine that was then published in another.
Series IV. Family and Personal, 1960-1999, (1970-1980) consists primarily of professional photographs taken for newspaper articles as well as photos of events Mailer attended and of his family. Other materials present include drawings by Mailer, invitations, and newspaper clippings documenting Mailer’s life and works.
Series V. Works and Correspondence by Others, 1926-1985 (1970-1980) includes works by others that were sent to Mailer to review or that were about his works. The series also includes a small volume of personal and business correspondence of Molly Malone Cook and financial records from the Molly Malone Cook Literary Agency.

Other Mailer materials at the Ransom Center are located in the Adeline Lubell-Naiman Collection of Norman Mailer, the Hilary Mills Loomis Collection of Norman Mailer, the J. Michael Lennon Correspondence with Norman Mailer, the Norman Mailer Papers, the Playboy Enterprises Norman Mailer Files, and the Thomas Fiske Collection of Norman Mailer.

Books, audio recordings, video recordings, and personal effects were transferred to other departments within the Ransom Center.

People

Carter, Jimmy
Cook, Molly Malone
Gilmore, Gary
Hemingway, Gregory H
Mailer, Norman

Subjects

American literature -- 20th Century
Capital punishment -- United States
Political conventions -- United States
Presidential candidates -- United States
Prisoners -- United States

Places

Provincetown (Mass.)

Document Types

legal documents
manuscripts (document genre)
Correspondence
speeches (documents)
drawing (image-making)
postcards
sound recording
video recording
photographs
Request entire Container osb 22
Oversize Box Container osb 22