Andre Deutsch, November 4, 1964

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NORMAN MAILER’s Letters
142 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn 1, New York
November 4, 1964

Dear Andre,

I’ve been meaning to call you each day, but each day I’ve not remembered until around cocktail time, which of course is bloody midnight for you. Now I’ve decided to do it with a letter.

Look, quickly, here’s the situation. If you’re still interested in joint publication—which I think is a good idea, since if the reviews in one country are better than another, the foreign reviews can be used, and if the reception is good in both countries, something can be made of that—at any rate, if you’re still interested, Dial has decided not to publish until February 15 (an approximate date).[1] It took me longer on the editing than I expected, their printing schedule took longer than they expected, and suddenly we were rushing to get a book out early for no reason that we could see. So as it stands, final page proofs will be ready in a week to two weeks. I’ll get two copies off to you as soon as they exist, I swear. There’s no sense in sending you anything any earlier because keeping up with the changes would have made for endless waste for you and for me. I know it’s been anything but easy for you to have to wait this way, but I think when you read the book through you’ll see that all these changes on which I’ve been working since June add up to something, the difference I hope between a book which is good and a book which is better than good.

Now for the jacket, I’ll send you a copy. I happen to like it quite a bit. It’s an odd compelling jacket and quite different from what you saw in Publishers’ Weekly. That is, the design is essentially the same, but they changed it in certain crucial and disappointing ways for PW. In any case, I like the jacket. I hope you’ll like it, and I’ll also enclose a photograph which I’m going to use for the book jacket.[2] This is all in a rush, but I know you’re waiting for the news, so hasten to dictate this letter.

Best,
Norman

P.S. Three cheers that you're setting the book rather than using offset. I'm really pleased with that.

This page is part of
An American Dream Expanded.

Notes

  1. The Dial version, delayed several times, appeared on 15 March 1965. Deutsch published the British edition on 26 April.
  2. The photograph of Mailer by Anne Barry on the back of the dust jacket of the Dial edition was taken as Mailer shadowboxed with her. Mailer designed the front of the jacket, which superimposes a photograph of Beverly Bentley on the American flag. A different version of the jacket appeared as the cover illustration of the 12 October 1964 Publishers’ Weekly. A double-page advertisement in this number states that the novel would be published in January, but it was delayed while Mailer made additional revisions, including significant changes to the galleys.