The Magic Barrel

The Magic Barrel

Book - 1958
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This is Bernard Malamud's first book of short stories. The stories are set in New York and in Italy (where Malamud's alter ego, the struggling New York Jewish Painter Arthur Fidelman, roams amid the ruins of old Europe in search of his artistic patrimony) they tell of egg candlers and shoemakers, matchmakers, and rabbis, in a voice that blends vigorous urban realism, Yiddish idiom, and a dash of artistic magic.
Publisher: New York, Farrar, Straus & Cudahy [1958]
Branch Call Number: FIC/MALAMUD
Characteristics: 214 p. 22 cm.


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Dec 21, 2013

One of Bernard "Big Mal" Malamud's signature works, this collection of short stories won the National Book Award. Unlike some of his contemporaries (Roth, Bellow), Malamud was less interested in intellectuals and writers than in the common people of NYC: tailors, janitors, shopkeepers, census takers and high school drop outs. He has a few stories set in Italy, one about a painter that may be influenced by Hawthorne's "The Marble Faun." These are understated, slice of life stories that give a nice sense of the immigrant experience in the late 50s. Introduction by Jhumpa "Jhumping, Jhumping" Lahhiri.

Dec 06, 2010

1959 National Book Award - Fiction


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