Bernard Malamud


Bernard Malamud (1914-1986)

Bernard Malamud was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up during the Great Depression. Along with Philip Roth and Saul Bellow, he is considered one of America’s great Jewish authors of the 20th century.

He received a B.A. from City College in New York in 1936 and in 1942, an M.A. from Columbia. Beginning in 1949, he taught freshman English at Oregon State University. While there, he devoted much of his spare time to writing. He left OSU in 1961 to teach writing at Bennington College in Vermont.

In 1945, he married Ann De Chiara, an Italian-American Roman Catholic, much to the dismay of both of their parents. De Chiara died in 2007.

Malamud completed a novel in 1948 but later burned his manuscript. “The Natural” was his first published novel (1952), which was later made into a film starring Robert Redford. The film changed the story to give it a happy ending, over Malamud’s objections. In 1967, his third novel, “The Fixer,” won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. It focused on anti-Semitism in Czarist Russia. “The Magic Barrel” (1958) also won the National Book Award.

A Selected Bibliography of the Work of Bernard Malamud


“The Natural” (1952)
“The Assistant” (1957)
“A New Life” (1961)
“The Fixer” (1966)
“The Tenants” (1971)
“Dubin’s Lives” (1979)
“God’s Grace” (1982)

Story Collections

“The Magic Barrel” (1958)
“Idiot’s First” (1963)
“The Stories of Bernard Malamud” (1983)
“The Complete Stories” (1997)


National Book Award

(1959) Fiction, “The Magic Barrel”
(1967) Fiction, “The Fixer”

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

(1967) “The Fixer”

O. Henry Award

(1969) “Man in the Drawer”

PEN/Malamud Award

Given annually since 1988 to honor Malamud's memory, the PEN/Malamud Award recognizes excellence in the art of the short story. The award is funded in part by Malamud's $10,000 bequest to the PEN American Center.