Norman Mailer (1923-2007)

A selective list of online literary criticism for Norman Mailer, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars, articles published in reviewed sources, and web sites that adhere to the MLA guidelines for web pages


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introduction & literary criticism

"A Brief History of Norman Mailer," by J. Michael Lennon. A short biography of Mailer. American Masters PBS.

"Norman Mailer, Towering Writer With Matching Ego, Dies at 84." Mailer's extended obituary at the NY Times, reviews his life and works, 10 Nov. 2007.

Norman Mailer: The Art of Fiction. An interview with Norman Mailer. Paris Review 181 (Summer 2007).

Grayson, Erik. "Remembering Norman Mailer." A balanced essay, in which Grayson considers the novels and the personna of Mailer, noting that "His visibility, ultimately, came to define Norman Mailer, earning him as much praise as criticism. Mailer’s accessibility provided readers and critics with a rare connection to a generation of American writers known for cultivating an increasingly reclusive relationship to the public." Logos Winter 2008.

Hamilton, Geoff. "Between Mailer and DeLillo: The 'Affectless Person' in Robert Stone's A Hall of Mirrors." Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory 65, 2 (Summer 2009) [first page of article only].

Kennedy, William. "Norman Mailer as Occasional Commentator in a Self-Interview and Memoir." Author William Kennedy considers his feelings about Norman Mailer and other influential American novelists. Mailer Review 1, 1 (Fall 2007) [subscription service].

Lennon, J. Michael. "'A Series of Tragicomedies': Mailer's Letters on The Deer Park, 1954-55." Mailer Review 1, 1 (Fall 2007) [subscription service].

Petigny, Alan. "Norman Mailer, 'The White Negro,' and New Conceptions of the Self in Postwar America." Mailer Review 1, 1 (Fall 2007) [subscription service].

Sacks, Sam. "The Poison Tree." A highly negative review of Mailer's The Castle in the Forest. "The hardest thing about watching Norman Mailer reprise his public role as a loudmouthed buffoon is seeing the damage his performance has done to his newest novel....Apparently there was a time—long before this reviewer existed—when Mailer's antics were taken seriously, when they weren’t the silly tittles of literary trivia that they are today." Open Letters Monthly: An Arts and Literature Review.

Severs, Jeffrey. "The Untold Story behind The Executioner's Song: A Conversation with Lawrence Schiller." Mailer Review 1, 1 (Fall 2007) [subscription service].

Taylor, Douglas. "Three Lean Cats in a Hall of Mirrors: James Baldwin, Norman Mailer, and Eldridge Cleaver on Race and Masculinity." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 52,1 (Spring 2010) [first page of article only].


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