OVERRIDE

The Magic Barrel

Stories

Bernard Malamud; Introduction by Jhumpa Lahiri

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction

Introduction by Jhumpa Lahiri

Bernard Malamud's first book of short stories, The Magic Barrel, has been recognized as a classic from the time it was published in 1959. The stories are set in New York and in Italy (where Malamud's alter ego, the struggleing 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.

The Magic Barrel is a book about New York and about the immigrant experience, and it is high point in the modern American short story. Few books of any kind have managed to depict struggle and frustration and heartbreak with such delight, or such artistry.

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The Magic Barrel
THE FIRST SEVEN YEARSFeld, the shoemaker, was annoyed that his helper, Sobel, was so insensitive to his reverie that he wouldn't for a minute cease his fanatic pounding at the other bench. He gave him a look, but Sobel's bald head was bent over the last as he worked and he didn't notice. The shoemaker shrugged and continued to peer through the partly frosted window at the near-sighted haze of falling February snow. Neither the shifting white blur outside, nor the sudden deep remembrance of the snowy Polish village where he had wasted his youth could turn his thoughts from Max
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Magic Barrel

"In the short story, Malamud achieved an almost psalmlike compression. He has been called the Jewish Hawthorne, but he might just as well be thought a Jewish Chopin, a prose composer of preludes and noctures."--Mark Shechner, Partisan Review

"There are thirteen stoires in The Magic Barrel and every one of them is a small, highly individualized work of art. This is the kind of book that calls for not admiration but gratitude."--Richard Sullivan, The Chicago Tribune
"In the short story, Malamud achieved an almost psalmlike compression. He has been called the Jewish Hawthorne, but he might just as well be thought a Jewish Chopin, a prose composer of preludes and noctures."--Mark Shechner, Partisan Review

"There are thirteen stoires in The Magic Barrel and every one of them is a small, highly individualized work of art. This is the kind of book that calls for not admiration but gratitude."--Richard Sullivan, The Chicago Tribune

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Bernard Malamud; Introduction by Jhumpa Lahiri

  • Bernard Malamud (1914-1986) also wrote eight novels, he won the Pulitzer Prize and a second National Book award for The Fixer. Born in Brooklyn, he taught for many years at Bennington College in Vermont.
  • Bernard Malamud Copyright Seymour Linden
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Magic Barrel

Stories

Bernard Malamud; Introduction by Jhumpa Lahiri

National Book Awards Winner
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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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