Bernard Malamud: A Writer's Life

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9780199571475: Bernard Malamud: A Writer's Life
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Philip Davis tells the story of Bernard Malamud (1914-1986), the self-made son of poor Jewish immigrants who went on to become one of the foremost novelists and short-story writers of the post-war period. The time is ripe for a revival of interest in a man who at the peak of his success stood alongside Saul Bellow and Philip Roth in the ranks of Jewish American writers.

Nothing came easily to Malamud: his family was poor, his mother probably committed suicide when Malamud was 14, and his younger brother inherited her schizophrenia. Malamud did everything the second time round - re-using his life in his writing, even as he revised draft after draft. Davis's meticulous biography shows all that it meant for this man to be a writer in terms of both the uses of and the costs to his own life. It also restores Bernard Malamud's literary reputation as one of the great original voices of his generation, a writer of superb subtlety and clarity.

Bernard Malamud: A Writer's Life benefits from Philip Davis's exclusive interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, unfettered access to private journals and letters, and detailed analysis of Malamud's working methods through the examination of hitherto unresearched manuscripts. It is very much a writer's life. It is also the story of a struggling emotional man, using an extraordinary but long-worked-for gift, in order to give meaning to ordinary human life.

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Review:

Review from previous edition In all, this is a highly readable, informative, and enjoyable volume on an important literary figure. (Jewish Book World)

Briliant biography (Gabriel Josipovici, TLS)

Most biographies trudge along the surface of a life, amassing and presenting facts, like rubble on a shovel, in which very few precious gems might be visible; this pioneering biography of Malamud presents gem-like aphorisms... and insights and observations of the biographer's, on virtually every page. It is rare that a biographer suceeds in evoking, with a novelist's skill, such compassion for his (flawed, human) subject; yet more rare, that a biographer suceeds in so drawing the reader into the shimmering world he has constructed out of a small infinity of letters, drafts, notes, manuscripts, printed texts, interview transcripts etc, that the barrier between reader and subject becomes near-transparent. (Joyce Carol Oates, TLS)

...wonderfully readable, illuminating and entertaining biography... sympathetic yet persuasively "objective" portrait of the artist. (Joyce Carol Oates, TLS)

An exemplary literary biography. (Joyce Carol Oates, TLS Books of the Year)

Scrupulous (International Herald Tribune)

Philip Davis's biography of Bernard Malamud is everything a writer hopes to find in the biography of a great writer. Davis is a great reader, and he sees where Malamud's writings are coming from. (A. S. Byatt, The Guardian)

[A] wise, scrupulous, resolutely admiring biography. (Lee Siegel, New York Times)

In this closely-written biography, Davis emphasises those human concerns central in Malamud. (Christopher Hawtree, Daily Telegraph)

...timely re-evaluation. (Scotland on Sunday)

About the Author:

Philip Davis is Professor of English Literature at Liverpool University. He has been reading Malamud for over thirty years.

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Philip Davis tells the story of Bernard Malamud (1914-1986), the self-made son of poor Jewish immigrants who went on to become one of the foremost novelists and short-story writers of the post-war period. The time is ripe for a revival of interest in a man who at the peak of his success stood alongside Saul Bellow and Philip Roth in the ranks of Jewish American writers. Nothing came easily to Malamud: his family was poor, his mother probably committed suicide when Malamud was 14, and his younger brother inherited her schizophrenia. Malamud did everything the second time round - re-using his life in his writing, even as he revised draft after draft. Davis s meticulous biography shows all that it meant for this man to be a writer in terms of both the uses of and the costs to his own life. It also restores Bernard Malamud s literary reputation as one of the great original voices of his generation, a writer of superb subtlety and clarity. Bernard Malamud: A Writer s Life benefits from Philip Davis s exclusive interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, unfettered access to private journals and letters, and detailed analysis of Malamud s working methods through the examination of hitherto unresearched manuscripts. It is very much a writer s life. It is also the story of a struggling emotional man, using an extraordinary but long-worked-for gift, in order to give meaning to ordinary human life. Seller Inventory # AOP9780199571475

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Philip Davis tells the story of Bernard Malamud (1914-1986), the self-made son of poor Jewish immigrants who went on to become one of the foremost novelists and short-story writers of the post-war period. The time is ripe for a revival of interest in a man who at the peak of his success stood alongside Saul Bellow and Philip Roth in the ranks of Jewish American writers. Nothing came easily to Malamud: his family was poor, his mother probably committed suicide when Malamud was 14, and his younger brother inherited her schizophrenia. Malamud did everything the second time round - re-using his life in his writing, even as he revised draft after draft. Davis s meticulous biography shows all that it meant for this man to be a writer in terms of both the uses of and the costs to his own life. It also restores Bernard Malamud s literary reputation as one of the great original voices of his generation, a writer of superb subtlety and clarity. Bernard Malamud: A Writer s Life benefits from Philip Davis s exclusive interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, unfettered access to private journals and letters, and detailed analysis of Malamud s working methods through the examination of hitherto unresearched manuscripts. It is very much a writer s life. It is also the story of a struggling emotional man, using an extraordinary but long-worked-for gift, in order to give meaning to ordinary human life. Seller Inventory # AOP9780199571475

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