Norman Mailer (1923–2007)

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch25

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Norman Mailer (1923–2007), in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch25

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • Norman Mailer (1923–2007);
  • Norman Mailer, finding himself a literary celebrity at the age of 25 - with his critical and commercial success of his first book, The Naked and the Dead;
  • Mailer's combative role as a public figure - both literary, political, and criminal, and mixed assessments of his work;
  • Mailer, adapting techniques from John Dos Passos and James T. Farrell - in his organization of the narrative;
  • world of Hollywood and McCarthyism - setting for Mailer's third novel, The Deer Park (1955), better received than Barbary Shore;
  • Mailer, trying to get The Naked and the Dead filmed - his hand at screenplays in Hollywood in 1949;
  • Mailer, collecting his shorter fiction and non-fiction pieces - for the volume Advertisements for Myself;
  • Mailer's troubles, in writing The Deer Park - discussion of revisions, made before its publication;
  • An American Dream (1965), Mailer's first novel in 10 years - Stephen Rojack's feelings of confinement and oppression of his wife and her ruthless father;
  • Why Are We in Vietnam? (1967), narrator D.J.'s thoughts - the night before he is to leave to serve in the Vietnam War


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography