So, why do people get obituaries? Because they’re famous, right?
Adele Carolyn Morales (June 12, 1925 – November 22, 2015) was an American painter and memoirist; she is best known as the second wife of American author-playwright Norman Mailer.
Morales was born in New York City, to a Spanish mother and Native Peruvian father. She grew up in Bensonhurst but moved to Manhattan, where she studied painting with Hans Hofmann and took up a Bohemian lifestyle, being involved for several years with Edwin Fancher (who together with Mailer and Dan Wolf founded The Village Voice) and briefly with Jack Kerouac.
Mailer’s biographer Mary Dearborn says of those days:
Adele thrived in the city. She frequented the Village bars, especially those, like the San Remo and the Cedar Tavern, favored by artists and writers, and she dressed in fantastic, gypsylike outfits. By all accounts, she had extraordinary physical presence. With striking dark good looks and a beautiful body, she seemed to exude sexuality. (It was widely known that her lingerie was ordered from Frederick’s of Hollywood.)
Literary and or artistic groupie known for her sexuality then. And Valenti complains:
If you’re a woman who has spent her life navigating sexism at home, at work and out in the world for most of your life, perhaps you are looking forward to the sweet respite afforded to us in death – silence from a world of misogynists and mansplainers. But guess again, my friends, because there is no rest for sexism – even when we’re long gone.
This week, the New York Times ran an obituary of Adele Morales – an artist and actor who also happened to once be married to novelist Norman Mailer. Morales, who died at 90 years old and is survived by two daughters and two granddaughters, was remembered in the first line of the newspaper’s obituary as a woman “who made headlines in 1960 when [Mailer] stabbed and seriously wounded her at a drunken party”. As if to make clear that Morales’ most important life achievement was being violently assaulted by a famous man, the paper’s front-page headline for the obit was “Wife Mailer Stabbed Dies at 90”.
It’s not the first time the newspaper has run a questionable obituary about a woman.
Honeybuns, the only reason she got an obituary at all is because she was married to Mailer.