With a new introduction by Thomas Mallon
Dubin's Lives (1979) is a compassionate and wry commedia, a book praised by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt in The New York Times as Malamud's "best novel since The Assistant. Possibly, it is the best he has written of all."
Its protagonist is one of Malamud's finest characters; prize-winning biographer William Dubin, who learns from lives, or thinks he does: those he writes, those he shares, the life he lives. Now in his later middle age, he seeks his own secret self, and the obsession of biography is supplanted by the obsession of love--love for a woman half is age, who has sought an understanding of her life through his books. Dubin's Lives is a rich, subtle book, as well as a moving tale of love and marriage.