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God's Grace A Novel

Bernard Malamud; Introduction by Dara Horn

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

0374529671

9780374529673

Trade Paperback

240 Pages

$14.00

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God's Grace, Bernard Malamud's last novel, is a modern-day dystopian fantasy, set in a time after a thermonuclear war prompts a second flood—a radical departure from his previous fiction.

The novel's protagonist is paleologist Calvin Cohn, who had been attending to his work at the bottom of the ocean when the Devastation struck, and who alone survived. This rabbi's son—a "marginal error"—finds himself shipwrecked with an experimental chimpanzee capable of speech, to whom he gives the name Buz. Soon other creatures appear on their island-baboons, chimps, five apes, and a lone gorilla. Cohn works hard to make it possible for God to love His creation again, and his hopes increase as he encounters the unknown and the unforeseen in this strange new world.

With God's Grace, Malamud took a great risk, and it paid off. The novel's fresh and pervasive humor, narrative ingenuity, and tragic sense of the human condition make it one of Malamud's most extraordinary books.

REVIEWS

Praise for God's Grace

"In this final moment of [Malamud's] brilliant career, the reader can feel a trembling urgency just below the surface: a writer's desperate need to shatter the rosy one-way mirror that stands between literature and life."—Dara Horn, from the Introduction

"Malamud's vision is personal, original, and almost wholly unrelated to the most characteristic or normative Jewish thought and tradition. As for Malamud's style, it too is a peculiar (and dazzling) invention."—Harold Bloom

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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God's Grace
The FloodThis is that storyThe heaving high seas were laden with scumThe dull sky glowed redDust and ashes drifted in the wind circling the earthThe burdened seas slanted this way, and that, flooding the scorched land under a daylight moonA black oily rain rainedNo one was there 
At the end, after the thermonuclear war between the Djanks and Druzhkies, in consequence of which they had destroyed themselves, and, madly, all other inhabitants of the earth, God spoke through a glowing crack in a bulbous black cloud to Calvin Cohn, the paleologist, who of all men had miraculously
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Bernard Malamud; Introduction by Dara Horn

  • Bernard Malamud (1914-1986) published eight novels, including The Fixer, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The Magic Barrel, a collection of his short stories, also won the National Book Award. Born in Brooklyn, Malamud was a beloved teacher for many years at Bennington College in Vermont.
  • Bernard Malamud Copyright Seymour Linden
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