NEW YORK (Reuters) - Norman Mailer, one of America's most renowned and controversial authors, will be awarded a medal of honor for lifetime achievement by the National Book Foundation, the organization said on Tuesday.

"Mailer has long been considered a major figure in postwar American literature whose innovative works of fiction and nonfiction have changed the landscape of American writing," said the foundation, which presents the National Book Awards.

It will present the 2005 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to Mailer on November 16 when the National Book Awards are presented. Finalists for the annual awards will be announced on October 12.

Known for his biting prose and as an antagonist of the feminist movement, Mailer won Pulitzer Prizes in 1969 and 1980, and a National Book Award in 1969 for "The Armies of the Night," about the anti-Vietnam War march on the
Pentagon.

Born in 1923 in New Jersey, he has written dozens of books as well as plays, poems, screenplays and essays. He was co-founder of The Village Voice alternative newspaper in New York.

His first major success, the novel "The Naked and the Dead," was a fictionalized account based on his experiences in the Army in World War Two.