Bernard Malamud

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Malamud, Bernard

(măl`əməd), 1914–86, American author, b. New York City, grad. College of the City of New York (B.A., 1936), Columbia (M.A., 1942). His works frequently reflect a concern with Jewish tradition and the nobility of the humble man as well as with the burdens of conscience and the redemptive nature of suffering. His novel The Fixer (1966; Pulitzer Prize), set in czarist Russia, reveals the courage of a handyman falsely accused by the government of ritual murder. The Tenants (1971) describes the confrontation of two writers—one Jewish, one African American—and probes the nature of the art of writing. Among his other works are the novels The Natural (1952), A New Life (1961), Dubin's Lives (1979), and God's Grace (1982); and the short-story collections The Magic Barrel (1958), Idiots First (1963), and Rembrandt's Hat (1973), gathered together in The Collected Stories (1997).


See biography by P. Davis (2007), memoir by his daughter, J. M. Smith (2006); studies by J. Helterman (1985), J. Salzberg, ed. (1987), S. Solotaroff (1989), E. A. Abramson (1993), P. Davis (1995), and M. U. Shaw (2000).

Malamud, Bernard


Born Apr. 26, 1914, in Brooklyn, N.Y. American writer.

Malamud is the son of Jewish immigrants. His first novel, The Natural (1952), describes a victim of corruption and gangsterism in American sports. The novel A New Life (1961) is a satiric picture of the morals of a modern provincial college. Psychological sketches from the everyday life of the urban Jewish poor and petite bourgeoisie predominate in the short-story collections The Magic Barrel (1958, Pulitzer Prize) and Idiots First (1963). Malamud, a realist writer, also makes use of grotesque and fantastic elements in his works.


The Assistant. New York, 1957.
The Fixer. New York, 1966.
Pictures of Fidelman. New York, 1969.
Rembrandt’s Hat. New York, 1972.
In Russian translation:
Tufli dlia sluzhanki. Moscow, 1967.


Mendel’son, M. Sovremennyi amerikanskii roman. Moscow, 1964.
Klein, M. After Alienation. New York, 1964.
Bernard Malamud and the Critics. New York-London, 1970. (Bibliography, pp. 333-38.)

Malamud, Bernard

(1914–86) writer; born in New York City. His Russian-Jewish parents ran a small grocery store, and he would use such biographical material in much of his writing. He studied at the College of the City of New York (B.A. 1936), and Columbia University (M.A. 1942). He worked for the Census Bureau in Washington, D.C. (1940), and then taught English at New York City evening schools (1940–49). He then moved up to college teaching, first at Oregon State (1949–61), then at Bennington (1961–86). His first novel, The Natural (1952), is regarded as launching the modern tradition of serious baseball fiction, while many of his later novels, such as The Assistant (1957) and The Fixer (1966), were contemporary morality tales based on the Jewish experience.