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Bernard Malamud: Novels & Stories of the 1940s & 50s
     

Bernard Malamud: Novels & Stories of the 1940s & 50s

by Bernard Malamud
 
Raised in Brooklyn, the son of Jewish immigrants, and coming of age in Depression-era New York, Bernard Malamud (1914–1986) began his career writing stories of unsparing precision and power, plumbing the depths of an impoverished urban world. His early, naturalistic style evolved into an inventive, often surreal idiom that blurs reality and fantasy. His first

Overview

Raised in Brooklyn, the son of Jewish immigrants, and coming of age in Depression-era New York, Bernard Malamud (1914–1986) began his career writing stories of unsparing precision and power, plumbing the depths of an impoverished urban world. His early, naturalistic style evolved into an inventive, often surreal idiom that blurs reality and fantasy. His first novel, The Natural (1952), is a dazzling reimagining of the possibilities of sports fiction, and it remains one of the greatest and most beloved novels about baseball ever written. In the The Assistant (1957), Malamud created a searing drama of guilt and redemption about a struggling grocer’s family and the mysterious drifter who comes to rob, and then to work at, his store, transforming all of their lives in unforeseen ways. Joining these novels are twenty-six short stories, ranging from the early tale “Armistice,” set in Brooklyn during the troubling weeks of the German invasion of France in 1940, to one of his deepest and most celebrated stories, “The Magic Barrel,” a deep fable about a rabbinical student and the matchmaker who leads him to an utterly unexpected bride.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Cynthia Ozick
Malamud, a virtuoso of darkest irony, refuses the easy conventions of cynicism and its dry detachment. His stories know suffering, loneliness, lust, confinement, defeat; and even when they are lighter, they tremble with subterranean fragility. Older readers who were familiar with the novels and stories in the years of their earliest publication will recall the wonderment they aroused, beginning with the fables of The Magic Barrel, as each new tale disrupted every prevailing literary expectation. The voice was unlike any other, haunted by whispers of Hawthorne, Babel, Isak Dinesen, even Poe, and at the same time uniquely possessed: a fingerprint of fire and ash. It was as if Malamud were at work in a secret laboratory of language, smelting a new poetics that infused the inflections of one tongue into the music of another. His landscapes, nature's and the mind's, are inimitable; the Malamudian sensibility, its wounded openness to large feeling, has had no successors.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781598532920
Publisher:
Library of America
Publication date:
02/27/2014
Pages:
800
Sales rank:
821,566
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

PHILIP DAVIS is the author of the authorized and definitive biography Bernard Malamud: A Writer’s Life (2010). He is the editor of The Reader magazine and director of the Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems at the University of Liverpool.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
April 28, 1914
Date of Death:
March 18, 1986
Place of Birth:
Brooklyn, New York
Place of Death:
New York, New York
Education:
B.A., City College of New York, 1936; M.A., Columbia University, 1942

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