The Magic Barrel

The Magic Barrel

Book - 1958
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Baker & Taylor
A winner of the 1959 National Book Award for Fiction, the late author's first book of thirteen short stories captures the experiences of Jewish immigrants in Italy and New York. By the author of The Natural. Reprint.

McMillan Palgrave

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.

Publisher: New York Farrar, Straus & Cudahy 1958
ISBN: 9780374525866
Branch Call Number: FICTION MALAMUD
Characteristics: 214 p. 21 cm


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Dec 21, 2013

One of Bernard "Big Mal" Malamud's signature works, this collection of short stories won the National Book Award. Unlike some of his contemporaries (Roth, Bellow), Malamud was less interested in intellectuals and writers than in the common people of NYC: tailors, janitors, shopkeepers, census takers and high school drop outs. He has a few stories set in Italy, one about a painter that may be influenced by Hawthorne's "The Marble Faun." These are understated, slice of life stories that give a nice sense of the immigrant experience in the late 50s. Introduction by Jhumpa "Jhumping, Jhumping" Lahhiri.

Dec 06, 2010

1959 National Book Award - Fiction


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