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The Norman Mailer Center & The Norman Mailer Writer's Colony

2012 Annual Benefit Gala

The Fourth Annual Benefit Gala took place on Thursday, October 4 at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City. Tina Brown served as Honorary Chair for the evening. Alec Baldwin served as the Master of Ceremonies. To see highlights from the gala click here.

Alec serving as emcee for Fourth Annual GalaA Meeting of GiantsRobert Caro accepting his award for Distinguished Biography, Harry Evans enjoys Caro's speechJoyce Carol Oates accepts her award for Lifetime Achievement Oliver Stone presents Muhammad Ali Ethics Award to Evin Hughes, Lonnie & Muhammad Ali watch from the stageGarrison Keillor presents the National High School Teachers Writing AwardGuests enjoy their first courseNorman Mailer Center President Lawrence Schiller discusses the Capitol Campaign to purchase the Mailer home in Provincetown, MAAmerican poet John Giorno presents the National College Poetry Award alongside Van Cleef & Arpels President, Nicolas BosKay McSpadden accepts her award for the High School Teacher Writing Award, with Garrison KeillorVan Cleef & Arpels President Nicolas Bos, Hilaria Thomas Baldwin and Alec BaldwinNicolas Bos & Wife, John Giorno, Quincy & Margaret Troupe, Nina Wiener & Lawrence Schiller(Top) John Giorno, Nicolas Bos and Lawrence Schiller; (Bottom) Kim Stoll and Muhammad AliDick Cavett makes a special guest appearance Nicolas Bos and Nicholas Foulkes talk over dinnerLawrence Schiller and Andrew McCarthy Oliver Stone, Muhammad Ali and Shannon Chang(Top) Lawrence Schiller, Vincent Scarpa, Susan Reese, Thomas Ward (GQ Winner), Doug Hesse; (Bottom) Kim Stoll, Edwin Reese, Muhammad Ali, Brittany Newell, Kay McSpadden (Top) Sir Harold Evans and Lawrence Schiller; (Bottom) Alec Baldwin, Muhammad Ali and Hilaria Thomas Baldwin(Top) Ashley D'Arcy and Chantal McStay; (Bottom) Erika Jeffers, Sarah Keyes, Muhammad Ali, Olivia Loving and Shoshana Frishberg-Izzo

2012 Annual Benefit Gala

Wednesday, October 13, 2004· 7:00 PM
Mandarin Oriental
80 Columbus Circle
New York, New York

Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement
Photo by Charles Gross

Joyce Carol Oates

Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. In 2003 she received the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature, and in 2006 she received the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award.

Joyce Carol Oates Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement Presented by Daniel Halpern
Mailer Prize for Distinguished Biography

Robert A. Caro

Mailer Prize for Distinguished Biography

For his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, twice won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, and has also won virtually every other major literary honor, including the National Book Award, the Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Francis Parkman Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that best “exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist.”  In 2010, he received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama.

Caro’s first book, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, everywhere acclaimed as a modern classic, was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest nonfiction books of the twentieth century, and by Time magazine as one of the hundred top nonfiction books of all time. It is, according to David Halberstam, “Surely the greatest book ever written about a city.” And The New York Times Book Review said: “In the future, the scholar who writes the history of American cities in the twentieth century will doubtless begin with this extraordinary effort.”

The first volume of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, The Path to Power, was cited by The Washington Post as “proof that we live in a great age of biography . . . [a book] of radiant excellence . . . Caro’s evocation of the Texas Hill Country, his elaboration of Johnson’s unsleeping ambition, his understanding of how politics actually work, are—let it be said flat out—at the summit of American historical writing.” Professor Henry F. Graff of Columbia University called the second volume, Means of Ascent, “brilliant. No review does justice to the drama of the story Caro is telling, which is nothing less than how present-day politics was born.” The London Times hailed volume three, Master of the Senate, as “a masterpiece . . . Robert Caro has written one of the truly great political biographies of the modern age.” And on the cover of The New York Times Book Review, Bill Clinton praised volume four, The Passage of Power, as “Brilliant . . . Important . . .Remarkable. With this fascinating and meticulous account Robert Caro has once again done America a great service.”

“Caro has a unique place among American political biographers,” according to The Boston Globe. “He has become, in many ways, the standard by which his fellows are measured.” And Nicholas von Hoffman wrote: “Caro has changed the art of political biography.”

Caro graduated from Princeton University and later became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He lives in New York City with his wife, Ina, an historian and writer.

Robert A. Caro Mailer Prize for Distinguished Biography Presented by Tina Brown
Barnet Lee Rosset, Jr. Mailer Prize for Distinguished Publishing Prize Presented by Charles McGrath

Our honorees were:

  • Joyce Carol Oates, recipient of the Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement (presented by Daniel Halpern)
  • Robert A. Caro, recipient of the Mailer Prize Distinguished Biography (presented by Tina Brown)
  • Barnet Lee Rosset, Jr. recipient of the Mailer Prize for Distinguished Publishing (presented by Charles McGrath)

The winners of the Mailer Student Writing Awards, presented in partnership with the National Council of Teachers of English, were:

  • National High School Teacher Award: Kay McSpadden, Why Women Moan in Bed 
  • National High School Award: Brittany Newell, Bad Kids
  • National Community College Award: Edwin Reese, Lost Cosmonauts
  • National Poetry Award: Kim Stoll, If The Stars Were Black, The Skies White
  • Muhammad Ali Ethics Writing Award: Evin Hughes, Float Like a Plane, Sting Like a Bomb: The Ethics of U.S. Drone Attacks

The winner of the British GQ Norman Mailer Student Writing Award:

  • Thomas Ward, Four Night Stand

The 2012 Annual Benefit Gala was underwritten by: Van Cleef & Arpels