"The Fixer" is a 1966 novel by the American author Bernard Malamud. The novel received the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The novel is a fictionalized account of the real story of a Jewish man named Menahem Mendel Beilis who was wrongfully imprisoned in the early 1900's in Tsarist Russia. Beilis was later released when the case caught … [Read more...]
Bernard Malamud was born on April 26th, 1914 in Brooklyn, New York. The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Malamud grew up in a poor family during the height of the Great Depression. After graduating high school, Malamud trained for a year to be a teacher before entering City College of New York on a government loan. In 1936, he graduated with his BA degree. He then enrolled in Columbia University and graduated for years later with a masters degree, writing his thesis on the author Thomas Hardy.
Because he was supporting his widowed father, he was excused from military service during World War II. He went on to work at the census bureau in Washington D.C. before returning to New York to teach English to adults.
In 1949, Malamud began teaching at Oregon State University, and it was there that he began writing regularly. His first published novel was completely in 1952 and was titled "The Natural." The novel went on to be very successful and was turned into a 1984 movie starring Robert Redford. In 1945, Malamud married Ann De Chiara, and the two went on to have two children together. Ann was the one who typed his manuscripts and reviewed them.
Malamud published only seven more novels in his lifetime. Two of his more famous ones were "The Assistant" (1957) and "The Fixer" (1966). Malamud was also well known for his short stories, many of which revolved around immigrants. In 1961, Malamud took a job teaching creative writing at Bennington College where he continued to work until his retirement.
Malamud died at the age of 71 in Manhattan on March 18th, 1986. He was buried in Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On the 100 year anniversary of Malamud's birth, there were many tributes and celebrations of his life. Malamud's current publisher released several new introductions' to his work online, and Oregon State University celebrated him as one “of the most recognized faculty members.” Malamud's daughter Janna went on to write a memoir about her father titled "My Father is a Book."