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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

'Becoming a spectator of life'

 “A writer is a spectator, looking at everything with a highly critical eye.” – Bernard Malamud

Born on this date in 1914, Malamud was an American novelist and short story writer best known for his baseball novel, The Natural,  although it was his book The Fixer about anti-Semitism in Tsarist Russia that won him both a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.     
The Natural recounts the experiences of Roy Hobbs, an individual with great "natural" baseball talent, and spans decades of Hobb's successes and sufferings.   A movie made from his books stars Robert Redford and has the distinction of being the first film produced by TriStar Pictures.  It earned 4 Academy Awards.
A young man during the Depression, Malamud          scraped together the money to study writing at City College of New York and went on to earn a Master’s degree at Columbia University before teaching for many years at Oregon State.  Malamud was known for writing slowly and carefully, ultimately authoring 8 novels and 4 short story collections before his death in 1986.  

The son of Russian immigrants, Malamud was also known for his honest depiction of the immigrant experience, ranging from despair and difficulty to the hope of dreams fulfilled.  “When you write about life, reflect about life," he said, "you see in others who you yourself are.”

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