A matchmaker finds love for a would-be rabbi; a shopkeeper dies because he cannot afford a doctor; a little girl steals candy; an angel visits a grieving tailor. Through Malamud's great gifts as a writer - humour and profound concern for the matter of human life - he transmutes the particular struggles of everyday sufferers into a strange poetry.
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In Malamud we may indeed salute a new American writer of power and originality. He has a wonderful sense of character and atmosphere - Daily Telegraph
His is a master of an alchemy whereby the grossest reality is converted to the most imaginative uses. He transcribes everyday life and yet the result glows with lights never seen on land or sea. - New York Herald Tribune
There are thirteen stoires in The Magic Barrel and every one of them is a small, highly individualized work of art. This is the kind of book that calls for not admiration but gratitude - Chicago Tribune
Is he an American Master? Of course, he not only wrote in the American language, he augmented it with fresh plasticity, he shaped our English into startling new configurations...He wrote about the plenitude and unity of the world -
Is he an American Master? Of course, he not only wrote in the American language, he augmented it with fresh plasticity, he shaped our English into startling new configurations. -
A chance encounter that thrilled me as much as any book this year. Great writing in capsule form, Malamud's Magic Barrel is a bran tub of delights - theasylum.wordpress.com
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About the Author
Bernard Malamud, one of America's most important novelists and short-story writers, was born in Brooklyn in 1914. He took his B.A. degree at the City College of New York and his M.A. at Colombia University. From 1940 to 1949 he taught in various New York schools, and then joined the staff of Oregon State University, where he stayed until 1961. Thereafter, he taught at Bennington State College, Vermont.
His remarkable, and uncharacteristic first novel, The Natural, appeared in 1952. Malamud received international acclaim with the publication of The Assistant (1957, winner of the Rosenthal Award and the Daroff Memorial Award). His other works include The Magic Barrel (1958, winner of the National Book Award), Idiots First (1963, short stories), The Fixer (1966, winner of a second National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize), Pictures of Fidelman (1969), The Tenants (1971), Rembrandt's Hat (1973, short stories), Dubin's Lives (1979) and God's Grace (1982). Bernard Malamud was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, USA, in 1964, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1967, and won a major Italian award, the Premio Mondello, in 1985. Benard Malamud died in 1986.