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Norman Mailer: Works and Days
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The Naked and the Dead. New York: Rinehart, 6 May; London: Wingate, 9 May 1949. Novel, 721 pp., $4.

Republished in a signed leather-bound edition with one-page preface, “A Special Message to Subscribers from Norman Mailer.” Franklin Center, Pa.: Franklin Library, 1979 (79.36). Dedication and acknowledgment: “To my Mother and Bea. I would like to thank William Raney, Theodore S. Amussen, and Charles Devlin for the aid and encouragement given me at various times in the writing of this novel.”

The novel received a “Page One Award” from the New York Newspaper Guild (CIO affiliate) on 20 May 1949 and was chosen as one of the four best books of 1948 by Newsweek (13 December). Several prominent critics nominated the novel for the Pulitzer Prize in the Saturday Review's annual Pulitzer Prize poll (30 April 1949, 23), and the Associated Press named Mailer “Man of the Year” in Literature, as reported in the 31 December Asbury Park Evening News. Finally, it was nominated for the Gutenberg Award, given to “the book which most progressively influenced American thought in 1948.” The novel was on the New York Times bestseller list for a total of 63 weeks, until summer 1949. The novel's title was first used for an unpublished play about an insane asylum based on a one-week job Mailer held at a Boston asylum in the summer of 1942.

Rpt: 48.1, 98.6 (new edition, with new introduction), 98.7 (partial). See other 1948 entries, 49.3, 65.21, 68.31, 74.18, 74.20, 76.21, 92.12, 95.53 and, passim, in 59.13; and Mailer's recollections in 03.7.



  • Geismar, Maxwell (May 8, 1948). "Nightmare on Anopopei". Saturday Review. pp. 1–11. Positive. See 48.3.
  • Lardner, John (May 15, 1948). "Pacific Battle, Good and Big". New Yorker. pp. 115–117. Positive.
  • Match, Richard (May 9, 1948). "Souls of Men Stripped by Battle and Boredom". New York Herald Tribune Book Review. p. 3. Positive.
  • "Men in War". Newsweek. May 10, 1948. pp. 86–87. Positive.
  • Prescott, Orville (December 20, 1948). "Books of the Times". New York Times. Positive.
  • Pritchett, V.S. (May 14, 1949). "Kinsey's Army". New Statesman and Nation. London. Positive.
  • Rosenthal, Raymond (July 1948). "Review of The Naked and the Dead". Commentary. p. 922. Positive.
  • Smith, Harrison (February 12, 1949). "Sizing Up the Corners". Saturday Review. pp. 9–11. Negative.
  • Wolfert, Ira (June 26, 1948). "War Novelist". Nation. p. 732. Positive.


  • Aldridge, John W. (1985) [1951]. "Mailer, Burns, and Shaw". After the Lost Generation: A Study of the Writers of Two Wars. New York: Arbor House. p. 133–156.
  • Coker, Christopher (2014). "General Cummings—The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer". Men at War: What Fiction Tells Us About Conflict, From The Iliad to Catch-22. Oxford: Oxford UP. p. 149–161.
  • Dickstein, Morris (2002). "War and the Novel: From World War II to Vietnam". Leopards in the Temple: The Transformation of American Fiction, 1945-1970. Cambridge: Harvard UP. pp. 21–52.
  • Eisinger, Chester (1968). "Introduction". The Naked and the Dead. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. pp. vii–xxv.
  • Gordon, Andrew (1969). "The Naked and the Dead: The Triumph of Impotence". Literature and Psychology. 19: 3–13.
  • Glenday, Michael (1995). "The Hot Breath of the Future: The Naked and the Dead". Norman Mailer. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 46–63.
  • Horn, Bernard (1982). "War: The Presence of Moby-Dick in the Naked and the Dead". American Quarterly. 34 (autumn): 379–395. Rpt. Mailer Review (2016).
  • Kazin, Alfred (1971). Bright Book of Life: American Storytellers from Hemingway to Mailer. Boston: Little, Brown. pp. 71–78.
  • Lennon, J. Michael (2004). "Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead". In Parini, Jay. American Writers Classics. Oxford: Oxford UP. p. 233–250.
  • Pizer, Donald (1982). "Norman Mailer: The Naked and the Dead". Twentieth Century American Literary Naturalism: An Interpretation. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. pp. 90–114.
  • Rideout, Walter (1956). The Radical Novel in America: 1900-1954. Cambridge: Harvard UP. pp. 270–273.
  • Volpe, Edmund L. (1964). "James Jones—Norman Mailer". In Moore, Harry T. Contemporary American Novelists. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. pp. 106–119.
  • Waldron, Randell H. (1972). "The Naked, the Dead and the Machine: A New Look at Mailer's First Novel". PMLA. 87 (March): 271–277.
  • Weinberg, Helen (1970). "The Heroes of Norman Mailer's Novels". The New Novel in America: The Kafkan Mode in Contemporary Fiction. Ithaca: Cornell UP. pp. 108–140.