Lipton’s Journal/January 31, 1955/377

From Project Mailer

Adele’s qualities.[1] She hated the portrait of Elena,[2] it hurt terribly. She felt it was the way I saw her, yet she accepted it, she loves the book. Part of it of course is her despised image of herself, but more important still is the terrific woman in her who accepts my work no matter how painful it is to her, who is even capable of wishing only the best for it. It is an extraordinary human quality and yet she has a low opinion of herself. Once she comes to have a better opinion—based on what she is and not on what she wished to be—she’s going to be remarkable.


  1. Adele Morales (1925 – 2015), who he married in April 1954, was Mailer’s second wife. The mother of his daughters Danielle (b. 1957), and Elizabeth Anne (b. 1959), she separated from Mailer in early 1961 a few months after he stabbed her with a penknife, just missing her heart. He pled guilty to felonious assault and was given a suspended sentence. They divorced in 1962.
  2. Elena Esposito is the lover and later wife of Charles Eitel in The Deer Park. Their love affair is one of Mailer’s finest fictional creations. Mailer based her character on his wife Adele.