Complete Stories

Bernard Malamud, Author, Robert Giroux, Introduction by Farrar Straus Giroux $35 (400p) ISBN 978-0-374-12639-1
From 1940 (when he published ""Armistice,"" the story of a Brooklyn grocer's reaction to the fall of Paris) until the last of his experimental ""fictive biographies,"" published in 1984, Malamud (The Natural; The Fixer; etc.) created hundreds of characters who were ordinary people involved in impossible situations. Malamud began as a dialect writer--one of the first to explain to the affluent, assimilated children and grandchildren of the second great wave of Jewish migration what they had left, or failed to leave, behind in the shtetls of Europe and New York. Himself the son of a late-night grocer, Malamud gave us what may be literature's first convenience stores; and, in his prose and dialogue, he captured with loving grace the dying rhythms and flourishes natural to Yiddish. In later stories, he came into his true subject, the cult of art under the pressures of late modernism: some of his best (and funniest) tales chronicle the Italian wanderings of Arthur Fidelman--failed painter, hopeless lover and mythically misadventurous schlemiel--as he bounces from city to city, getting kidnapped, buggered, robbed, killed, revived, seduced and, perpetually, haunted by the masterworks of the past. Like his humble hero, Malamud kept at his art, sometimes writing in step with the vanguard and at others spitting into the wind of fashion. As these 55 stories show, he was at every stage of his life an exciting storyteller--from sentence to sentence, even word to word. None of his many imitators has matched his instinct for the perfectly appropriate, if seemingly offhand, surprise. Already revered for his novels and a few anthology pieces, Malamud should win a new generation of readers with this wonderful, posthumous collection. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4299-3089-5
Paperback - 656 pages - 978-0-374-52575-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5012-1529-2
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