Following a long battle with gastrointestinal cancer, Norris Church Mailer, the widow of famed novelist Norman Mailer and an author herself, passed away on Sunday. “She was the pilgrim soul who captured and won Norman’s heart and mind and who shared with him the last three decades of his life,” said Mark Olshaker, the president of the Norman Mailer Society, in a post on its website. An Arkansas native, she met Norman Mailer at a book party in 1975 and moved to New York with him shortly after, beginning a career as a model, artist, actress, and writer. The couple married in 1980. This year, Church Mailer—a contributor to The Daily Beast—published her sixth book, a memoir called A Ticket to the Circus. In addition to her two sons (one with Mailer), she is survived by two stepsons, five stepdaughters, and several grandchildren.