Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

"In his 1961 novel, A New Life, Malamud wrote about what happens to a liberal Jewish teacher from the east, Sy Levin, when he tries to reform the English department of an 'unknown town in the Far West.' Labeled a troublemaker, Levin ends up being fired--but he also leaves town with the prospect of better times. The larger political implications of the novel have been obscured by critical tendencies to read it as a myth of individualism and by speculation about its autobiographical specificity. Malamud himself was not fired for being a troublemaker, but he could have had a model who was. A young professor of chemistry at Oregon State College, Ralph Spitzer, was fired for being a communist in 1949, in the year that Malamud arrived to begin his teaching career there."

Suzanne Clark, Cold Warriors: Manliness on Trial in the West, 2000

Bernard Malamud Papers, 1949-2007

Photo by Seymour Linden, taken on assignment for Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. 1961.
Newspaper clipping: "Former Oregon State Writer's Fame Grows". OSU Daily Barometer, May 22, 1964.
Magazine article: "Creators on Creating: Bernard Malamud," by Katha Pollit. Saturday Review, February 1981.
Correspondence: to Sylvan Karchmer, May 27, 1952.
Magazine article: "Creators on Creating: Bernard Malamud," by Katha Pollit. Saturday Review, February 1981.
Magic Barrel Galley proof. 1958. At head of each page: "Magic barrel 11-13-32[1/2] Caslon O. S. Figs (FSC) 2221."

Information and Credits

MSS Malamud

Bernard Malamud (1914-1986), a major American novelist and short story writer, taught at Oregon State University from 1949-1961. A prolific author, he received a Pulitzer Prize (The Fixer, 1966) and two National Book Awards (The Magic Barrel, 1959; The Fixer, 1966) for his work. The Malamud Papers include an assortment of personal correspondence relating to Malamud's tenure as professor and writer at Oregon State University. In addition, the collection features several boxes of newspaper clippings, as well as signed first editions and published translations of his books.


Bern Malamud: An Instinctive Friendship
by Chester Garrison. 1998. 10 pages.

Timeline for Bernard Malamud

Biographical Note 

Content Description


20 linear feet; 15 boxes; 130 books


The Malamud Papers are organized into seven series. All archival materials within each series are arranged chronologically. Items in the Malamud library are organized alphabetically by title.

Related Papers

Papers of Bernard Malamud, 1930-1989. 13,000 items (77 containers, 30.6 linear feet). Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

Bernard Malamud Papers, 1940-1996. 32 boxes (14 linear feet). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Bernard Malamud photographs, Best of OSU Archives. Over 25 digitized images from multiple archival collections. Oregon State University Archives.

Interview with Nelson Sandgren on Bernard Malamud, May 28, 1988. (1:01:42) Interview conducted by Suzanne Clark. Digitized from a VHS original held in OSU's Malamud Papers.

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