Norman Mailer's Stabbing of Adele Morales

From LitWiki


On November 19, 1960 Norman Mailer and his wife Adele Morales threw a party to celebrate his mayoral campaign. During this party Mailer and Morales began arguing which led to Mailer stabbing his wife twice, once in the stomach and once in the back, with a penknife.

The Incident

. . .

The Aftermath

Initially, Mailer plead “not guilty,” but later changed his plea to “guilty” in order to avoid harmful publicity for his family.[1]

Critical Response

. . .

Personal Response

After being remanded to Bellevue, Mailer confessed to the judge: “I feel I did a lousy, dirty, cowardly thing.”[2]


Norman Mailer's second wife survived his stabbing attack

  1. Lennon 2013, p. 269.
  2. McKinley 2021, p. 3.


  • Lennon, J. Michael (2013). Norman Mailer: A Double Life. New York: Simon and Schuster.
  • McKinley, Maggie (2021). "Introduction". Norman Mailer in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. pp. 1–10.