Bernard Malamud was a terrific writer of short stories but somehow never made it to the full length novel. As we close down the 500 nativities, I began to wonder why, so I did his chart. He won two National Book Awards and the Pulitzer Prize all like his famous “The Natural” that had some element of magic within.
Malamud himself said he was writer of ”simple people struggling to make their lives better in a world of bad luck.” And that does seem to wrap up why he could not go the long form distance — he was more of a workman than an artist (Neptune conjunct Mars in the sixth).
On the basis of ”The Assistant” and ”The Fixer,” critics began to think of Mr. Malamud as a ”Jewish writer” along with Saul Bellow and Philip Roth. Mr. Malamud, said that he found the label of ”Jewish writer” inadequate & the three writers shared more differences than similarities for in his case, Jewishness was more a spiritual than a cultural or a religious quality.
‘‘I was concerned with what Jews stood for,” he said, ”with their getting down to the bare bones of things. I was concerned with their ethicity – how Jews felt they had to live to go on living.”New York Times obit for Mr. Malamud