Norman Mailer and Norris Church Mailer
Although Norman Mailer had tried to kill his second wife with a penknife at a party, Norris Church, a 26-year-old single mom from Arkansas, still went for him and became his sixth and last wife. She would write him sweet little poems: "You were there / and I was there / in a pocket / of sunshine / in a vacuum of space." In her memoir,
A Ticket to the Circus
, Church writes that Mailer was constantly unfaithful to her, and she considered leaving him—"why had I been so consumed by this old, fat, bombastic, lying little dynamo?" But as stepmother to his eight children and with a child of their own, she felt their family was reason to stay. "I had been around town long enough to know the guys who were available, and I thought: Is there somebody else I want to make a life with? Is there someone else I want to be the father of my children? I couldn't think of one single person. If I had, maybe I would have taken that step." Plus, as she said in a recent New York Times interview, "The sex was always great. That was the glue that held all this mess together, or the honey."