A Ticket to the Circus

Zoie Clift
travelarkansas@gmail.com
 
It’s a snow day! A perfect
time to make a fire and curl up with that book you’ve been meaning to read. Last night I finally cracked open a
novel I had gotten as a gift over the holidays from my dad: A Ticket to the
Circus.
  The book is written by Norris
Church Mailer  the wife of fiery author Norman Mailer. The couple’s New York parties were
legendary, and their social circle included such luminaries as Muhammad Ali,
Jacqueline Kennedy, and Truman Capote.  
 
An Arkansan, Norris Church ( who died a few months ago in Brooklyn, N.Y. at the age of 61) established herself outside
Mailer’s shadow as an actress, a model, an author and painter. The book tells
the story of her life married to the author for 33 years until his death in
2007.  Arkansans will get a kick
out of seeing the state through Norris Church’s eyes ( she tells of her time in
Atkins, Little Rock, Russellville, stops by the Arkansas Arts Center, etc) and
also a bit ( ok a lot) of name dropping along the way. An engaging read, I finished half
the book last night and plan to complete the rest tonight.
 
“I always said I
wasn’t going to write about Norman because no one would believe it,” she once told
the New York Times. “But when you go to bed after you’ve lost your husband, you
start thinking about the life together, and it just poured out. It felt good
because I got to relive all the happy early stuff and I got to wade through all
the bad stuff and sort it out in my head. I didn’t want to make anybody a
villain. I just wanted to tell my story.”

And what a story it is.

What’s your favorite book
with Arkansas connections? 

Posted in Travel Arkansas

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