OVERRIDE

The Assistant

A Novel

Bernard Malamud; Introduction by Jonathan Rosen

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Introduction by Jonathan Rosen.

Bernard Malamud’s second novel, originally published in 1957, is the story of Morris Bober, a grocer in postwar Brooklyn, who “wants better” for himself and his family. First two robbers appear and hold him up; then things take a turn for the better when broken-nosed Frank Alpine becomes his assistant. But there are complications: Frank, whose reaction to Jews is ambivalent, falls in love with Helen Bober; at the same time he begins to steal from the store.

Like Malamud’s best stories, this novel unerringly evokes an immigrant world of cramped circumstances and great expectations. Malamud defined the immigrant experience in a way that has proven vital for several generations of writers.

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The Assistant
The early November street was dark though night had ended, but the wind, to the grocer's surprise, already clawed. It flung his apron into his face as he bent for the two milk cases at the curb. Morris Bober dragged the heavy boxes to the door, panting. A large brown bag of hard rolls stood in the doorway along with the sour-faced, gray-haired Poilisheh huddled there, who wanted one."What's the matter so late?""Ten after six," said the grocer."Is cold," she complained.Turning the key in the lock he let her in. Usually he lugged in the milk and lit the gas radiators, but the Polish
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Assistant

"The clarity and concreteness of [Malamud's] style, the warm humanity over his people, the tender wit that keeps them first and compassionable, will delight many.... Mr. Malamud's people are memorable and real as rock."
--William Goyen, The New York Times
"The clarity and concreteness of [Malamud's] style, the warm humanity over his people, the tender wit that keeps them first and compassionable, will delight many.... Mr. Malamud's people are memorable and real as rock."
--William Goyen, The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Bernard Malamud; Introduction by Jonathan Rosen

  • Acclaimed for his short stories, Bernard Malamud (1914-1986) received two National Book Awards (for The Magic Barrel and the novel The Fixer) and the Pulitzer Prize (for The Fixer). A native of Brooklyn, he taught for many years at Bennington College.
  • Bernard Malamud Copyright Seymour Linden
  • Jonathan Rosen Abigail Pope
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Assistant

A Novel

Bernard Malamud; Introduction by Jonathan Rosen

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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