A landmark in the modern literature of war by a still-controversial literary icon
Includes a selection of letters—nine never before published—that reveal the real life roots of one of the greatest American debut novels of the last century
Nearly universally praised upon publication as an achievement inviting comparison with Tolstoy and Hemingway, Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead is not just a monumental war novel but also a devastating antiwar novel, exposing the primal nature of power through the interplay of a platoon of soldiers on an impossible and ultimately pointless mission on an obscure island in the Pacific during World War II. Written just after the war ended, in the early days of the emerging Cold War, the novel daringly engages with the authoritarian impulses in the American character.
To celebrate and commemorate the centennial of Mailer’s birth and the 75th anniversary of the publication of his unforgettable debut novel, this expanded collector’s edition includes a selection of 23 letters (all but four from Mailer to his first wife, Beatrice) chosen by Mailer biographer J. Michael Lennon that reveals the keen insight and powerful ambition of a brilliant young writer grappling with the challenge of converting the weight of experience into art.