Mao II Background

Mao II Background

Mao II is the tenth novel written by postmodernist author Don DeLillo. Published in 1991, Mao II gets its name based on Andy Warhol's famous prints depicting Mao Zedong. The book won the 1992 Faulkner Award. It was also the discussion and lecture topic at Case Western Reserve's annual Discussion Day in 1993.

The novel is serious in topic but manages to be comedic and disheveled in style and organization. One of the serious topics handled by the book is terrorism. Just a decade before the terrorist attacks on the twin towers that devastated the American people, DeLillo was contemplating terrorism and its role in American society. DeLillo starting writing about terrorism in 1977 and has continued the theme in Mao II.

Overall, Mao II examines human nature through observations of crowds as well as the individual. The repeated use of crowds and mob mentality throughout the book is artfully juxtaposed with the focus on the main character, Bill Gray.

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