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Ransom Center acquires additional Bernard Malamud materials

By Harry Ransom Center

The Harry Ransom Center recently acquired new materials related to writer Bernard Malamud. These materials, purchased from his daughter, Janna Malamud Smith, complement the existing Malamud archive at the Ransom Center, which comprises more than 37 boxes of correspondence and papers. The Ransom Center acquired the original collection in the late 1990s.

Photograph from Bernard Malamud’s 1969 trip to Israel.
Photograph from Bernard Malamud’s 1969 trip to Israel.

The new acquisition includes letters between Malamud and various family members, as well as early composition books, materials showing Malamud’s genealogical research, and files kept by Malamud’s wife, Ann, related to Malamud’s life and career. The collection also includes letters from Arlene Heyman to Malamud, dating from 1962 to 1985. Heyman and Malamud met as student and professor at Bennington College in the early 1960s and remained close friends for the rest of Malamud’s life. Prior to this acquisition, these letters were not publicly available to researchers.

The recently acquired material reveals Malamud both as a writer and as his family knew him. In a transcription of a conversation between Janna Malamud Smith and Ann Malamud, typed by Malamud Smith and dated May 2000, the two discuss their father and husband’s Jewishness and the ambivalences of his identity as American and Jew. Malamud is widely acknowledged as one the most important Jewish writers of the twentieth century.

LEARN MORE about Bernard Malamud: A Writer’s Life, the first major biography of Malamud, published in September 2007, by Philip Davis, who used materials in the Malamud collection at the Ransom Center in his research.

LEARN MORE about the previously acquired Malamud materials at the Ransom Center.

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