On 2 December, Selected Letters of Norman Mailer, edited by J. Michael Lennon, published by Random House, 2 December. Contains seven hundred and fourteen letters, 1940 to 2007, selected from the approximately 50,000 Mailer wrote over his lifetime.
On 5 December, Norman Mailer: JFK, Superman Comes to the Supermarket, edited by Nina Weiner, is published by Taschen Books. Conceived by Lawrence Schiller. Art Direction by Josh Baker. Introduction by J. Michael Lennon. Contains Mailer’s 1960 report on the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles, his essay on Jacqueline Kennedy, and over 300 photographs of JFK’s 1960 presidential campaign.
On 15 October, The Mind of an Outlaw: Selected Essays of Norman Mailer, edited by Phillip Sipiora, with an introduction by Jonathan Lethem, is published by Random House. It contains forty-nine of Mailer’s most important essays, 1948-2006, including one previously unpublished: “Freud,” a four-page reflection from the mid-1950s.
On 15 October, Norman Mailer: A Double Life, by J. Michael Lennon, is published by Simon and Schuster. This authorized biography contains extensive quotations from Mailer’s unpublished letters, interviews with him, and with 85 others—his family, friends, and literary associates.
In November, “Love-Buds,” a previously unpublished short story written by Mailer in his senior year in college, is published in the Mailer Review.
In November, “The Blood of the Blunt,” a previously unpublished short story by Mailer is published in the Mailer Review.
On 12 December, Taschen Books publishes an abridged version of Marilyn, Mailer, 1973 biography. Norman Mailer/Bert Stern/Marilyn Monroe was conceived by Lawrence Schiller using photographs by Bert Stern, and an abridged text edited by J. Michael Lennon.
In November “Norris Mailer: A Life in Words” is published in the Mailer Review. The first 166 pages of this issue are devoted to remembrances of Norris Church Mailer, who died on 21 November 2010, including many words from her husband.
On 26 January, Mornings with Mailer: A Recollection of Friendship, by Dwayne Raymond, is published by HarperCollins. This memoir of Mailer’s last days in Provincetown is by his assistant from 2003 to Mailer’s death in 2007. Contains many quotations from Mailer and a detailed depiction of his domestic and professional life during his final years.
On 10 April, A Ticket to the Circus by Norris Church Mailer is published by Random House. This memoir by Mailer’s sixth wife, to whom he was married for 27 years, includes numerous remembered words from her husband, and several of his love letters to her.
On 1 June, Norman Mailer: Moonfire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11, edited by J. Michael Lennon, is published by Taschen Books. Conceived by Lawrence Schiller with an introduction by Colum McCann, this abridged version of Of a Fire on the Moon, contains hundreds of photographs and maps from NASA, magazine archives and private collections.
“A Man of Letters” is published in the January issue of Playboy. It consists of 28 letters, 1952-2008, from Mailer to 23 different individuals, including Gore Vidal, James Baldwin, Truman Capote, Lillian Ross and Gordon Lish. Twenty-four of the letters are reprinted in Selected Letters of Norman Mailer. Fifteen letters from Mailer to various correspondents are published in three issues of the NYRB (12 February, 26 February, and 12 March). All 15 are later reprinted in Selected Letters of Norman Mailer.
On 9 April, a memorial service, “The Time of His Time: A Celebration of the Life of Norman Mailer,” is held at Carnegie Hall, with Charlie Rose as the master of ceremonies. All of Mailer’s children, his sister, nephew, and many friends and relatives speak at the event.
On 30 June, Blue Night: Photographs by George Hirose, is published by Provincetown Arts Press. It contains fifty-two photographs of Provincetown shot at night with long exposures, and Mailer’s introduction, which is one of the last things he writes before his death.
On 6 October, “In the Ring: Grappling with the Twentieth Century” is published in New Yorker. It consists of thirty-eight letters from Mailer to various correspondents from 1945-1988. Eighteen of the letters are later collected in Selected Letters of Norman Mailer.
In November, the 2008 double issue of the Mailer Review appears. It contains the statements made by 25 individuals, members of Mailer’s family and his friends, at the 9 April 2008 memorial program for Mailer at Carnegie Hall, sponsored by Mailer’s publisher, Random House, and produced by Norris Church Mailer, Lawrence Schiller, Carol Schneider, and J. Michael Lennon. Mailer is quoted innumerable times in these eulogies, and in many others collected in this volume.
On 23 January, The Castle in the Forest is published. Reviewed widely and with much praise, it becomes Mailer’s 11th best seller. He remains the only postwar American author to have one or more best sellers in each of seven consecutive decades.
Accompanied by John Buffalo, he goes on a book tour in the winter and early spring. In February in San Francisco, he has his last meeting with Lois Mayfield Wilson, a former lover with whom he has been friendly for almost 60 years.
The final manuscript of On God: An Uncommon Conversation is submitted in late spring. On 27 June, he appears with Günter Grass and Andrew O’Hagan at the New York Public Library, and tells the audience that this will probably be his last public appearance, but on 22 July, he has one more outing, taking part in a discussion about his films at Lincoln Center with film critic Michael Chaiken and others.
The summer number of Paris Review contains a long interview with him conducted by Andrew O’Hagan.
In October, the first issue of the Mailer Review, edited by Phillip Sipiora, and sponsored by the Mailer Society and the University of South Florida, is published.
On 3 October, enters Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York where he has surgery for a collapsed lung. A series of infections and complications ensue. Mailer dies at 4:28 a.m. on 10 November, and is buried in Provincetown a few days later.
On God is published on 16 November; an excerpt is published in New York with Mailer’s photograph on the cover. The book is overlooked in the wave of commentary following Mailer’s death, and receives few reviews.
On 24 January, The Big Empty is published. It is warmly, but not widely reviewed.
In the spring, he submits the manuscript of The Castle in the Forest to his new editor at Random House, David Ebershoff, who replaces Jason Epstein after his retirement.
On 4 May, Judith McNally, Mailer’s secretary for nearly three decades, dies. Mailer’s health worsens, and his weight loss concerns his family and doctors. Two of his old friends die, Styron on 1 November, and Robert F. Lucid on 12 December. Mailer speaks at a Boston memorial for Styron on 14 December.
In April, Mailer sells his 500-cubic-foot archive, including approximately 50,000 of his letters, to the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, for $2.5 million. Later that month, he attends a conference at the University titled “Norman Mailer Takes on America.”
On 8 September, Mailer undergoes a successful quadruple bypass operation at Mass General in Boston. On 16 November, he is awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation.
Norman Mailer’s Provincetown: The Wild West of the East, a pamphlet containing excerpts from his work about Provincetown, including his favorite poem, “The Harbors of the Moon,” is published by Provincetown Arts Press.