The Magic Worlds of Bernard Malamud

Edited by Evelyn Avery

Subjects: Jewish Studies
Series: SUNY series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture
Paperback : 9780791450666, 238 pages, October 2001
Hardcover : 9780791450659, 238 pages, October 2001

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Table of contents


I. The Author

1. Malamud in Corvallis: Memories of Dad – Paul Malamud

2. Recollecting Bernie – Interviews with Colleagues at Oregon State – Paul Malamud

3. Remembrances: Bernard Malamud – Cynthia Ozick

4. Malamud: Seen and Unseen – Daniel Stern

5. On “The Magic Barrel” – Nicholas Delbanco

6. The Rhythms of Friendship in the Life of Art: The Correspondence of Bernard Malamud and Rosemarie Beck - Joel Salzberg

II. Individual Works

7. America and the History of the Jews in Bernard Malamud's The Last Mohican – Karen Polster

8. Zen Buddhism and The Assistant – Edward Abramson

9. Malamud's New [Academic] Life – and Ours – Sanford Pinsker

10. The lives of Dubin – Walter Shear

11. Gorilla in the Myth: Malamud's God's Grace – D. Mesher

12. Reflections on Transmogrified Yiddish Archetypes in Fiction by Bernard Malamud – S. Lillian Kremer

13. Not True Although Truth: The Holocaust's Legacy in Three Malamud Stories: “The German Refugee,” “Man in the Drawer,” and “The Lady of the Lake” – Eileen H. Watts

14. Bernard and Juliet: Romance and Desire in Malamud's High Art – Alan Cheuse

15. Bernard Malamud and Cynthia Ozick: Kindred Neshamas – Evelyn Avery

16. Bernard Malamud and His Universal Menschen – Daniel Walden

17. A Kind of Vigilance: Tropic Suspension in Bernard Malamud's Fiction – Victoria Aarons

IV. Annotated Select Bibliography – Eileen H. Watts


Offers personal recollections of and critical perspectives on this major American author.


In the best literary tradition, Bernard Malamud uses the particular experiences of his subjects—Eastern European Jews, immigrant Americans, and urban African Americans—to express the universal. This book offers an exploration of this beloved American writer's fiction, which has won two National Book Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. In addition to the literary studies, personal recollections by son Paul Malamud, memoirs and portraits by good friends, colleagues, and fellow writers such as Cynthia Ozick, Daniel Stern, and Nicolas Delbanco illuminate Malamud's life and work. The contributors reveal that in an age that deconstructs, Malamud's voice does not. Instead, it speaks clearly and imaginatively with the weight of ancient traditions and the understanding of modern conditions.

Evelyn Avery is Professor of English and Coordinator of Jewish Studies at Towson University. She is the author of Rebels and Victims: The Fiction of Richard Wright and Bernard Malamud.


"He wrote about suffering Jews, about poor Jews, about grocers and fixers and birds and horses and angels in Harlem and matchmakers and salesmen and rabbis and landlords and tenants and egg chandlers and writers and chimpanzees; he wrote about the plentitude and unity of the world...May the memory of this great and humane Master be blessed and forever green. As it will be, as long as there are readers." — Cynthia Ozick, from chapter 3, "Remembrances: Bernard Malamud"

"The book offers a remarkably vivid and consistent portrait of this significant American writer and marks a valuable contribution to what we know about Malamud." — Andrew Furman, author of Israel Through the Jewish-American Imagination