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About the book:

Due to his formidable skill as a novelist--and to the fact that one of his novels, The Natural, had the good or bad luck to be repackaged as a large-screen vehicle for Robert Redford--Bernard Malamud hasn't always been recognized as a short-story master of the first rank. As this collection demonstrates once and for all, he is. The anthology pieces, such as "The Magic Barrel", "The Silver Dish" or "Rembrandt's Hat" would be more than enough to place the author in the pantheon. But the 54 stories gathered here represent an astonishing abundance of narrative smarts and brilliant, Yiddish- accented prose. Malamud's heroes meet all manner of misfortune--there's something distinctly Job- like about even his most contented characters (a typical one has "a sort of indigenous sadness [that] hung on or around him")--yet the author suffuses their woes with gentle comedy. And while Jews occupy centre stage in almost every tale, they are universal rather than parochial figures: as the beleaguered tailor in "Angel Levine" triumphantly informs his wife, "Believe me, there are Jews everywhere."

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