My Father is a Book

A Memoir of Bernard Malamud

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Book Description

Bernard Malamud was one of the most accomplished American novelists of the postwar years. From the Pulitzer Prize winner The Fixer as well as The Assistant, named one of the best “100 All–Time Novels” by Time Magazine—to mention only two of the more than a dozen published books—he not only established himself in the first rank of American writers but also took the country’s literature in new and important directions.

In her signature memoir, Smith explores her renowned father’s life and literary legacy. Malamud was among the most brilliant novelists of his era, and counted among his friends Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, Theodore Roethke, and Shirley Jackson. Yet Malamud was also very private. Only his family has had full access to his personal papers, including letters and journals that offer unique insight into the man and his work. In her candid, evocative, and loving memoir, his daughter brings Malamud to vivid life.

About the Author

Praise For This Book

Praise for My Father Is a Book

"Janna Malamud Smith penetrates to the soul of a great writer's life and family. . .Malamud is alive in this memoir – and in his daughter's stirring gift." —James Carroll

"This book is a must for anyone interested in the work of Bernard Malamud, or, indeed, the writer's life." —Mary Gordon

"Courageous. . . intimate. . . Smith is a passionate and uncompromising truth–teller, and it is by telling the truth that she has honored her father and mother as well as her readers." —Jonathan Kirsch, L.A. Times

"Keen and nuanced. . . A profound portrait of a loving father, a writer whose struggles with his own frailties fueled enduring works of literature." —Publishers Weekly (Starred review)

"My Father Is a Book does what the best reminiscences of artists do: It leads us back to the work." —Edith Pearlman, The Boston Globe

"At once loving and lovely, a book worthy of the man." —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

"This beautifully written book should do much to rekindle interest in Malamud's work." —Heller McAlpin, Newsday

"Deserving. . . generous–spirited. . . compelling." —Steve Weinberg, San Francisco Chronicle

"[Smith] tenderly fills in the missing pieces of a man who exists as much on the page as he does in her memory." —Vogue

"Excellent. . .[a traditional] biography would be hard–pressed to match the emotional complexity and intensity that make this memoir hum with energy." —Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Moving, unostentatiously eloquent... Analytical without being acrimonious, honest without wallowing in self–preening exposure, this is a wise, generous book full of insights..." —Merle Rubin, Christian Science Monitor

"Candid yet sensitive. . . exquisitely captures ‘the particular psychic pleasure and confusion' of being the daughter of novelist/short–story writer Bernard Malamud. . . The author amply demonstrates that she has inherited her father's unblinking moral scrutiny and sympathy for the yearning heart." —Kirkus Reviews

"Smith's own superior writing in My Father Is a Book beautifully evokes her father's spirit and life, proving that talent runs in the family." —Rocky Mountain News