Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Bernard Malamud Papers, 1949-2007

Biographical Note

Author Bernard Malamud was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 26, 1914. The son of recently emigrated Russian Jews, he spent his early years in New York City, attending the City College of New York and acquiring his M.A. from Columbia University in 1942. In 1949 Bernard Malamud moved to Corvallis, Oregon to teach English composition at Oregon State College (now Oregon State University) and remained there until 1961. He was the author of 13 books, including The Natural, his first book published in 1952.

He also published a collection of short stories titled The Magic Barrel while teaching at OAC. Other of his published works include Long Work, Short Life, The Cost of Living, The Assistant, and two more short story collections. He left OSC in 1961 for Harvard and concluded his teaching career at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont. Malamud is considered one of the century's most significant American novelists and writers of short stories. His novel The Fixer won the Pulitzer Prize, as well as one of the two National Book Awards he received during his lifetime. He died of a heart attack in New York City in 1986.


Note: For an authoritative chronology of Malamud's life, see pages xviii - xxii in Bernard Malamud: A Writer's Life, by Philip Davis. (Oxford University Press, 2007)

Timeline for Bernard Malamud

1914 Born in Brooklyn, New York on March 21 to Bertha and Max Malamud. Bernard and his younger brother Eugene will grow up in Brooklyn and attend Erasmus Hall High School.
1936 Receives his Bachelor of Arts degree from City College of New York.
For roughly four years following his graduation, Malamud works in a factory, in a variety of stores and as a clerk for the Census Bureau in Washington, D.C.
1940 Begins a nine-year period of teaching evening classes in English at his high school alma mater, Erasmus Hall High School.
1942 Receives his Master of Arts degree from Columbia University.
1943 Publishes his first two stories, "Benefit Performance" in Threshold and "The Place is Different Now" in American Preface.
1945 Marries Ann de Chiara. The couple will have two children, Paul and Janna.
1949 Moves to Corvallis, Oregon, where he has been hired as Associate Professor of English at Oregon State College.
1952 Publishes The Natural.
1955 Publishes a children's book Kim of Korea. The story is originally written by Faith G. Norris. Malamud revises the text and is listed as a co-author under the pseudonym Peter Lumn.
1956 Receives a one-year fellowship funded by Partisan Review which he uses to write in and travel through Europe.
1957 Publishes The Assistant.
1958 Publishes The Magic Barrel.
Receives the Rosenthal Foundation Award and the Darroff Memorial Award for The Assistant.
1959 Receives the National Book Award for The Magic Barrel.
Begins a two-year fellowship sponsored by the Ford Foundation.
1961 Publishes A New Life.
Resigns from his position at Oregon State College in favor of a faculty position in the Division of Language and Literature, Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont. Malamud will remain affiliated with Bennington College until his death in 1986.
1963 Publishes Idiots First.
1964 Elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
1966 Publishes The Fixer.
Accepts a two-year appointment as Visiting Lecture at Harvard University.
1967 A Malamud Reader, edited by Philip Rahv, is published.
Malamud receives the National Book Award (his second) and the Pulitzer Prize for The Fixer. He is also elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
1969 Publishes Pictures of Fidelman: An Exhibition.
Receives the O. Henry Prize for his short story "Man in the Drawer."
1971 Publishes The Tenants.
1973 Publishes Rembrandt's Hat.
1976 Receives the B'nai B'rith Jewish Heritage Award.
1979 Publishes Dubin's Lives.
Malamud receives the Governor's Award from the Vermont Council on the Arts and is also elected to a two-year term as President of the P.E.N. (poets, playwrights, essayists, editors, and novelists) American Center.
1981 Receives the Create Arts Award for fiction from Brandeis University.
1982 Publishes God's Grace.
1983 Publishes The Stories of Bernard Malamud.
Receives the Gold Medal for fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
1985 Receives the Premio Mondello Prize in Italy.
1986 On March 18, Malamud dies of a heart attack in New York City. Two collections of stories will be published posthumously.

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