Selected Letters of Norman Mailer. Edited by J. Michael Lennon. New York: Random House, 2 December. 867 pp., $40. Dedication: “To Nancy A. Potter, with me from the start, with love and gratitude.” Seven hundred and fourteen letters, 1940 to 2007, selected from the approximately 45,000 Mailer wrote over his lifetime. Includes an introduction, 90 pages of notes, a select secondary bibliography, a list of Mailer’s books, and an index. See 04.7.
The Mind of an Outlaw: Selected Essays of Norman Mailer. Edited by Phillip Sipiora. Introduction by Jonathan Lethem. New York: Random House, 15 October. 625 pp., $40. No dedication. Forty-nine of the most important Mailer essays, 1948-2006, including one previously unpublished: “Freud,” a four-page reflection from the mid-1950s. The only comprehensive collection of Mailer’s essays.
On God: An Uncommon Conversation. With Michael Lennon. New York: Random House, 16 October. 215 pp., $26.95.
Dedication: From Mailer: “To my wife, my sister, my children, my grandchildren; from Lennon: “To my sisters, Kathleen Arruda and Maureen Macedo.”
Consists of edited transcripts of ten conversations between Lennon and Mailer that took place in Provincetown from June 2003 to June 2006.
I have spent the last fifty years trying to contemplate the nature of God. If I speak specifically of fifty years, it is because my pride in the initial thirty-odd years of my life was to an atheist—how much more difficult and honorable I then considered that to be, rather than having a belief in an All-Mighty divinity. I was a novelist, after all (as will be noted frequently in these interviews), so I was intensely, even professionally, aware of the variety, and complexity, of human motivation and its offspring—morality. It took a good number of years to recognize that I did believe in God—that is, believed there is a divine presence in existence.
The Big Empty: Dialogues on Politics, Sex, God, Boxing, Morality, Myth, Poker and Bad Conscience in America. With John Buffalo Mailer. New York, Nation Books, February. Series of conversations between the Mailers, father and son, 218 pp., $14.95
Dedication: To a lovely lady—Norris Church Mailer.” Soft cover. Some of the conversations in this collection appeared in a different form in the following: 04.7, 04.14, 05.2, and a speech Mailer gave to the Neiman Fellows at Harvard, 6 December 2004.
The old notion with which I grew up was that human nature could be seen as progressive in its essence. That happy assumption is now in disrepute. It is as if we are coming to the end of the Enlightenment, for humankind is no longer seen as necessarily capable of creating a world of reason. Rather, we seem to be expanding in two opposed directions at once—as if men and women are growing more sane, more compassionate, more liberated, and more sensitive to moral nuance at the same time that we are becoming more irrational, more hateful, or more confined within an orthodoxy (that is often murderously opposed to a neighboring orthodoxy. We are certainly more inclined to abstract judgment upon the morality of our neighbor. (06.2)
Norman Mailer’s Provincetown: The Wild West of the East, edited by J. Michael Lennon. Provincetown, MA: Provincetown Arts press. 12 pp. Limited edition. Contains five evocations of Provincetown from Mailer’s work, and Lennon’s introduction. Reprint.
Norman Mailer’s Letters on An American Dream 1963-69. Edited by J. Michael Lennon. Shavertown, PA: Sligo Press, August. 124 pp., $150.
Dedication: “For Donna, Stephen, Joseph and James. With a special appreciation for the students of English 397, Norman Mailer Seminar, at Wilkes University.”
Limited, numbered edition of 110, signed by Mr. Mailer and editor. A compilation of 76 letters to family, friends, literary associates and admirers concerning the 1964 serial publication in Esquire of Mailer’s fourth novel, its subsequent publication in revised form by Dial Press in 1965, and the 1966 Warner Brothers film version. Contains 14 illustrations (10 in color), four appendices, critical introduction, and index. Advance excerpt of nine of the letters appeared in Provincetown Arts 19 (summer 2004), 109-13. Sixteen of the letters appeared in SLNM.
Modest Gifts: Poems and Drawings. New York: Random House, spring. 275 pp. $14.95.
Dedication: “To Norris.” Soft cover. A reprint of the majority of Mailer’s poems (some revised) from two earlier works: his 1962 collection, Deaths for the Ladies (and Other Disasters) (62.3), and his 1966 miscellany, Cannibals ad Christians (66.11), along with a suite of eight new poems collectively titled “Hemingway Revisited.” The Hemingway poems also appeared in Paris Review (see 03.28). Interspersed with the poems are about 100 of Mailer’s Captioned and humorous line drawings, some of which are obliquely related to the poems. He also includes is introduction to the 1971 soft cover edition of Death for the Ladies published by New American Library (71.31).
Mailer: “These pieces, for the most part, will be comprehensible on first approach. Some barely qualify as poems. They are snippets of prose called short hairs, there to shift your mood a hair’s width” (03.17).
Conversations with Norman Mailer, edited by J. Michael Lennon. Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi, 31 July, 396 pp., $26.95.
Collection of 34 previously published interviews, including three self-interviews. Contains introduction, chronology of Mailer’s life and index.
The Essential Mailer. Sevenoaks, Kent: New English Library, 1 August. Miscellany, 586 pp. Combines The Short Fiction of Norman Mailer (67.11) and Existential Errands (72.7), with two excisions: the introduction to 67.11, which was reprinted in 72.7, appears only once in 82.19: at the beginning of the short fiction; original dedication to 72.7 was dropped.