The Works of Norman Mailer

This page highlights some of the major works of Norman Mailer housed in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Thomas Cooper Library, which has a substantial Mailer collection. These items, along with additional printed items and pieces of correspondence, will be on display in the Thomas Cooper Library West Gallery from September - October 2007.

Beginning with his first book, The Naked and the Dead, the first major novel of the Second World War, Mailer has continuously explored nuances of life and love, violence, celebrity, and power in his many works of fiction, nonfiction and the "nonfiction novel." In addition to his extensive writing career, Mailer has written and directed films, run for public office, and been a mainstay of American cultural and intellectual life for the past sixty years. Additional information about these books, as well as a complete listing of our extensive Mailer holdings, can be found by searching the library catalog, limiting to "Columbia Cooper Rare Books."


The Naked and the Dead. New York: Rinehart, 1948. Gift of Joel Myerson.


Barbary Shore. New York: Rinehart, 1951. Mailer's second novel, set during the immediate aftermath of World War II and how world events affected a cast of six: two women, three men, and a child.

The Deer Park. New York: Putnam’s, 1955. Inscribed by Mailer: “To Mike / fulfilling one of our annual traditions / say hey! / Norman.” “Mike” is Michael Lennon, Mailer’s bibliographer and a long-time friend. The novel is the story of a pair of affairs in Hollywood’s movie community.


The White Negro. San Francisco: City Lights, 1957. Signed by Mailer. Mailer's seminal cultural essay on hipsters and the Beats.

One, The Homosexual Magazine. Volume III (1), 1955. First Edition in wrappers. This issue contains Mailer’s essay “The Homosexual Villain.” Signed by Mailer on the front cover.  



Advertisements For Myself. New York: Putnam’s, 1959. Inscribed by Mailer. His first collection of essays and non fiction. The back of the jacket, pictured above, included his most memorable and superlative review quotes to date.


The Presidential Papers. New York: Putnam’s, 1963. Inscribed by Mailer: “To Ruth McNulty / to whom I still owe a drink of champagne. / Norman Mailer / Nov. 1963.” Mailer offers an overview of America’s political system in a series of 12 “Presidential Papers,” addressing such topics as juvenile delinquency, a Kennedy miscellany, the debate with William Buckley, and the "metaphysics of the belly."

An American Dream. New York: Dial Press, 1965. Inscribed by Mailer to American literary critic Lionel Trilling: “To Lionel / with high - I fear - regard. / Norman, Feb. ‘65.” Mailer’s first work of fiction in 10 years, it revolves around Stephen Richards Rojack, a war hero/professor who, from his home base in New York’s Upper East Side, journeys through every imaginable evil in the space of 32 hours.


Cannibals and Christians. New York: Dial Press, 1966. Inscribed by Mailer: “To Dr. George A. Silver / some silky writing with sour(?) spots for / cordially / Norman Mailer / April 1967.”Mailer’s well-rounded, “heaven-pointed” sensibility engages such topics as literature, politics, architecture, science, and war, and poses a pair of pointed questions: “How do we live in America in this age - and what is the quality of our experience?” 

Why Are We In Vietnam? New York: Putnam’s, 1967.

The BullfightNew York: CBS Records/MacMilllan, 1967. First Edition in dust jacket with a long-playing 33 1/3 RPM record featuring Mailer reading from his text with music and the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca.

The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, The Novel as History. New York: New American Library, 1968. Gift of Charles T. "Bud" Ferillo. Mailer's first "nonfiction-novel," this account of the 1967 antiwar march on the Pentagon won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award in 1968.


Miami and the Siege of Chicago: An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968. New York and Cleveland: World, 1968.

Of a Fire on the Moon. Boston: Little, Brown, 1970. Signed by Mailer.

The Prisoner of Sex. Boston: Little, Brown, 1971.

Marilyn: A BiographyNew York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1973.


The Fight. Boston: Little, Brown, 1975.

Some Honorable Men: Political Conventions 1960-1972. Boston: Little, Brown, 1976.

The Executioner’s Song. Boston: Little, Brown, 1979. Inscribed by Mailer: “To Jim McCarthy / cheers / Norman Mailer.” Called a “true life novel” by Mailer a la Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, it recounts the story behind the execution of convicted murderer Gary Gilmore at Utah State Prison on January 17, 1977 and won the Pulitzer Prize.


Ancient Evenings. Boston: Little, Brown, 1983. Inscribed by Mailer: “To Cliff with all good wishes / Norman / April ‘83.” Set in Egypt of the 19th and 20th dynasties (1290-1100 B.C.), this historical novel was a significant departure in subject for Mailer.

Tough Guys Don’t Dance. New York: Random House, 1984. Inscribed by Mailer: “To Judi McMahon in all the pleasure that she likes this book / cheers / Norman Mailer / Oct. ‘84” with an autograph note from Mailer: “…and thank you for your book [Year of Beauty & Exercise for the Pregnant Woman]. It’s something I know little about, and so it may enlarge my fast-shrinking mind.” A novel set in his hometown of Provincetown, Massachusetts, this novel is the story of Tim Madden, an unsuccessful novelist who is addicted to booze, cigarettes, and blonde, careless women with money. Mailer wrote the screenplay and directed a successful film adaptation of this work as well.


Harlot’s Ghost. New York: Random House, 1991. Inscribed by Mailer: “To Charles Gill by way of [author] Brendan / cheers / Norman Mailer.” A 1,282-page epic about CIA spies and intelligence officers during the Cold War. 

Oswald’s Tale. New York: Random House, 1995. Inscribed by Mailer: “To Christine / after our circle of talk / cheers / Norman Mailer.” Mailer explores the psychology of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Picasso: Portrait of Picasso as a Young Man. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995. 


The Gospel According to the Son. New York: Random House, 1997. Inscribed by Mailer: “To J.J. / Now that the headphones are off / Cheers / Norman Mailer, April ‘97.” Mailer’s novelization of the life of Jesus.

Why Are We At War? New York: Random House, 2003.

The Castle in the Forest. New York: Random House, 2007. Mailer's latest novel, an exploration of the end of the Second World War in Europe.



Self-portrait. Charleston WV: Parchment Gallery Graphics, 1998. Offset lithograph of an original drawing in red pen. Copy 5 of 100. This print, with accompanying photograph of Mailer signing the edition, was made to commemorate his visit to the University of Charleston in February, 1998.



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