The magic barrel by bernard malamud not long ago there lived in uptown new york in a small almost meager room though crowded with books leo finkle a rabbinical student in the yeshivah university. The magic barrel begins with the introduction of leo finkle who is twenty seven and in search of a suitable wife to pinye salzman who has advertised his services as a matchmaker in a . The magic barrel is a 1958 collection of thirteen short stories written by bernard malamud and published by farrar straus giroux also the jewish publication society released its own edition at the same time it won the 1959 us national book award for fiction. The magic barrel proves that the more things change the more they stay the same before online dating there was speed dating before speed dating there were newspaper personal ads and before personal ads there was the local matchmaker. Bernard malamuds first book of short stories the magic barrel has been recognized as a classic from the time it was published in 1959 the stories are set in new york and in italy where malamuds alter ego the struggling new york jewish painter arthur fidelman roams amid the ruins of old
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