Bernard Malamud Biography
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Bernard Malamud Biography  

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Bernard Malamud (April 26, 1914 – March 18, 1986) was an United States writer. Malamud was born in Brooklyn, New York, New York to a Jewish family. He is most renowned for his short stories, oblique allegories often set in a dreamlike urban ghetto of immigrant Jews. His prose, like his settings, is an artful pastiche of Yiddish-English language locutions, punctuated by sudden lyricism. On Malamud's death, Philip Roth wrote: "A man of stern morality, Malamud was driven by a need to consider long and seriously every last demand of an overtaxed, overtaxing conscience torturously exacerbated by the pathos of human need unabated." (Malamud's friend and editor Robert Giroux later disputed that Malamud's morality was ever "stern".) The Fixer (Malamud novel), his best-known novel, won the National Book Award in 1966 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Malamud's novel The Natural was made into a movie starring Robert Redford (described by the film writer David Thomson (film critic) as "poor baseball and worse Malamud"). Among his other novels were The Assistant (novel), set in a Jewish grocers in New York and drawing on Malamud's own childhood, and Dubin's Lives, a powerful evocation of middle age which uses biography to re-create the narrative richness of its protagonists' lives. His daughter, Janna Malamud Smith, relates her memories of her father in her memoir, My Father is a Book.

"I write a book or a short jordan three times. Once to understand her, the second time to improve her prose, and a third to compel her to say what it still must say." "I for one believe that not enough has been made of the tragedy of the destruction of 6 million Jews. Somebody has to cry-even if it's a writer, 20 years later." "It was all those biographies in me yelling, "We want out. We want to tell you what we've done to you." "Once you've got some words looking back at you, you can take two or three-or throw them away and look for others." "Where there's no fight for it there's no freedom. What is it Spinoza says? If the state acts in ways that are abhorrent to human nature it's the lesser evil to destroy it."

  • The Natural (1952)
  • The Assistant (1957)
  • The Magic Barrel (1958)
  • A New Life (novel) (1961)
  • Idiots First (1963)
  • The Jewbird (short story)(1963)
  • The German Refugee (1964)
  • The Fixer (1966)
  • Pictures of Fidelman (1969)
  • The Tenants (1971)
  • Rembrandt's Hat (1974)
  • Dubin's Lives (1979)
  • God's Grace (1982)
  • The Stories of Bernard Malamud (1983)
  • The People and Uncollected Stories (1989)
  • The Complete Stories (1997)
  • The Mourners

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