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Mailer, Cormier Know How to Touch a Nerve

June 17, 1998

In "Tough Guy" (May 27), Norman Mailer says, "The last thing we need is a society in which some people are making 5,000 times as much as other people."

I wonder how many struggling freelance writers are at this moment thinking, "Exactly how much do you make each time you sit down at that keyboard, Mr. Mailer?"

EARL EAGER ALBERT

Temple City

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Re "Are Cormier's Teen Novels Sending the Wrong Messages?" (June 2): I want to thank [Letter to the Editor writers] Madere Olivar and Bonnie Sloane for protecting me. Thanks to them, I would have read nothing but stories with happy endings. After all, never before in my life as a teenager was I ever told "Life isn't fair" by my parents, teachers or peers when things wouldn't go the way I planned.

Please, get real. Of course we all want happy endings. But the fact is they don't always happen. Although Robert Cormier's books are bleak, there are plenty of other books with different points of view. I admire Cormier for not being afraid to tell it the way it often is, and his honesty inspires me greatly. Because when unfortunate things happen in life (and Cormier's books), shouldn't we use that knowledge as a lesson? Isn't it worse to bury the feelings of depression so many teenagers feel, rather than expressing and dealing with them?

Cormier's disturbing, bleak and despairing books show the world the way it could be if we're not careful about the choices we make. They are exactly the reason I want to have a good life and a decent world, but now I know these don't necessarily come easy.

MIKE NAKAUCHI

Costa Mesa

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