Norman Mailer: The Naked and the Dead

(919 words)
  • Martin Kich (Wright State University )

Originally published in 1948, when Mailer was only twenty-five years old, The Naked and the Dead was immediately hailed as a major novel about the American experience in the Second World War. In the subsequent half century, the novel has retained that standing. Indeed, despite Mailer’s attempts to replicate its success in a series of “big” novels, The Naked and the Dead has remained, in the view of many critics, his most important and most fully realized novel.

The novel is set on the fictional island of Anopopei in the South Pacific. An American force is attempting to dislodge the Japanese from the island, but the American effort quickly bogs down. The novel focuses on Lieutenant Robert Hearn, an aide t…

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Kich, Martin. "The Naked and the Dead". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 May 2006
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. World War 2 Literature