His feud with Gore Vidal on the Dick Cavett Show is now the stuff of legend, and his abrasive, post-Hemingway mediated persona has fascinated scholars and readers alike. Now the larger-than-life Norman Mailer will have his works reissued to attract younger generations to his fiction. Publishing company Random House will be reissuing Mailer’s work as new paperbacks, while also releasing an unpublished collection of essays penned by Mailer, along with eight books in e-book format. Mailer’s tough-guy exterior, accentuated by his love of boxing, was downplayed by the author’s short-stature and frame. Nevertheless, he earned a reputation as postmodern literature’s ‘bad-boy’. He achieved unprecedented fame with his The Naked and the Dead (1948), a graphic war-novel based on his experience in the 112th Cavalry Regiment during the Philippines Campaign in World War II. His other famous works include his Why are we in Vietnam? (67), which is about a hunting trip rather than the actual war, The Armies of the Night (68), about the October 1967 March on the Pentagon, though is considered a work of narcissism for Mailer writing about himself in the third person, his controversial Marilyn: A Biography (78) and his popular work Advertisement for Myself (59), a work of self-exposure, where Mailer describes himself as being a “a node in a new electronic landscape of celebrity.” Hemingway, meanwhile, described the book as “a sort of ragtag assembly of his rewrites, second thoughts and ramblings shot through with occasional brilliance.”
His epic but mostly disparaged Ancient Evenings (83) has already been released in digital format, and will be released as a new paperback edition in January 2014, along with his Tough Guys Don’t Dance (84). Mailer’s unpublished essay collection, Mind of an Outlaw, featuring an introduction by Jonathan Lethem, will be available as a paperback on October 15, 2013.