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Norman Mailer: Works and Days
PrefaceLennon IntroductionLucas IntroductionAcknowledgments and Appreciations
First EditionsKey TextsBibliographiesBiographiesCriticismCultural Backgrounds
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Ancient Evenings. Boston: Little, Brown, 4 April; London: Macmillan, 26 May. Novel, 709 pp., $19.95.

Dedication: “To my daughters, to my sons, and to Norris.” The copyright page carries this note: “I would like to express my appreciation to Ned Bradford, Roger Donald, Arthur Thornhill, Scott Meredith, and Judith McNally for their assistance and encouragement on this work.” Discarded title: Master of the Secret. The novel’s dates of composition, 1972–1982, are given on its last page.

Rpt: Advance excerpts appeared in Paris Review (82.24), House and Garden (83.9), Playboy (83.17), and, shortly after publication, in Vogue (83.30), again in Playboy (83.28), and in the (London) Sunday Times (83.42); excerpts from three chapters are reprinted in 98.7. See 72.19, 74.10, other 1983 entries.




  • Bloom, Harold (April 28, 1983). "Norman in Egypt". New York Review of Books. pp. 3–4, 6. Mixed. Rpt: Bloom (1986).
  • Bourjaily, Vance (July 1983). "Return of the Ancient Mailer". Esquire. pp. 116–117. Positive.
  • Bufithis, Philip (1984). "Norman Mailer". In Bruccoli, Matthew. Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook, 1983. Detroit: Gale Publishing. pp. 162–166. Mixed.
  • Burgess, Anthony (June 5, 1983). "Magical Droppings". Observer. p. 30. Positive.
  • DeMott, Benjamin (April 10, 1982). "Norman Mailer's Egyptian Novel". New York Times Book Review. Mixed.
  • Davis, Robert Gorham (May 16, 1983). "Excess without End". New Leader. pp. 14–16. Negative.
  • Epstein, Joseph (July 1983). "Mailer Hits Bottom". Commentary. pp. 62–68. Negative.
  • Fiedler, Leslie (June 1983). "Going for the Long Ball". Psychology Today. pp. 16–17. Negative.
  • Koenig, Rhoda (April 25, 1983). "Give Me Your Obelisk". New York. pp. 72–72. Negative.
  • Poirier, Richard (June 10, 1983). "In Pyramid and Palace". Times Literary Supplement. pp. 591–592. Positive. Rpt: Bloom (1986), Lennon (1986).
  • Ricks, Christopher (1983). "Mailer's Primal Words". Grand Street. 3 (autumn): 161–172. Positive.
  • Skenazy, George (1983). "The Side of the Gods". Threepenny Review (summer): 4–6. Positive.
  • Stade, George (May 2, 1983). "A Chthonic Novel". The New Republic. pp. 32–36. Positive.
  • Weeks, Bridgette (April 10, 1983). "Colossus of the Nile". Washington Post Book World. pp. 1–4. Positive.
  • Wolcott, James (May 1983). "Enter the Mummy". Harper's. pp. 81–83. Negative.


  • Battaglia, Andy (February 14, 2014). "River of Fundament". Paris Review. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  • Begiebing, Robert J. (1989). "The Magician as Tragic Hero". Toward a New Synthesis: John Fowles, John Gardner, Norman Mailer. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press. p. 87–125. Rpt: Mailer Review (2009).
  • Boone, Joseph A. "The Hetero-Homoerotics of Mailer's 'Big One': Ancient Evenings". The Homoerotics of Orientalism. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 209–222.
  • Bufithis, Philip (1984). "Norman Mailer". In Bruccoli, Matthew. Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook, 1983. Detroit: Gale Publishing. pp. 162–166.
  • Burgess, Anthony (1984). "Norman Mailer". 99 Novels: The Best in English since 1939. New York: Summit Books. pp. 132–133.
  • Glenday, Michael (1995). Norman Mailer. London: Macmillan. pp. 115–126.
  • Hicks, Alexander (2014). "Reading Ancient Evenings". Mailer Review. 8: 272–289.
  • Howley, Ashton (2010). "Imperial Mailer: Ancient Evenings". In Whalen-Bridge, John. Norman Mailer's Later Fictions. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 105–122.
  • Kuberski, Philip (1989). "The Metaphysics of Postmodern Death: Mailer's Ancient Evenings and Merrill's The Changing Light at Sandover". English Literary History. 56 (spring): 229–254.
  • Leigh, Nigel (1990). "Making One's Way Back to Life in Ancient Evenings". Norman Mailer. New York: St. Martin's. pp. 149–180.