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.