Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1967 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner

The Fixer by Bernard Malamud


Publisher: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux

Length: 335 pages

About: Innocent Jew accused of murder

Style: 3rd person

Where: Russia (Kiev)

When: 1911-1913



Publisher’s synopsis:

Set in Tsarist Russia during a period of virulent anti-Semitism, the novel tells the story of Yakov Bok, a Jewish handyman blamed for the brutal murder of a young Russian boy. At the outset, Bok leaves his village to try his luck in Kiev. And after denying his Jewish identity, he finds himself working for a member of the anti-Semitic Black Hundred Society. When the boy is found dead in a cave, drained of nearly all his blood, the Jews are accused of ritual murder. Arrested and imprisoned, Bok refuses to confess to a crime that he did not commit.



“The truth of it is I’m a man full of wants I’ll never satisfy, at least not here. It’s time to get out and take a chance. Change your place, change your luck, people say.”




…It begins with the arrival of a new prisoner in a neighbouring cell. They try to communicate. They bang the wall, they shout. The voices are audible but the words are indistinguishable. It is a desperate, pointless exchange. Its climax – which it is only fair to leave each reader to discover himself – is elctrifying.

The Times, Paul Scott, April 6th 1967


Not so good:

The Fixer hasn’t the vivacity we are accustomed to in Malamud, and carries the taint of the historical novel…It has none of the surrealistic weirdness and votality of The Natural, none of the sophistication of the Italian Stories. But in comparison it also lacks weight.

Times Literary Supplement 6th April 1967


About the author

1914-1986 born in Brooklyn. From 1928 to 1932 he attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn. He received his Bachelor's degree from City College of New York in 1936. Malamud later earned his Master's degree from Columbia University in 1942. Malamud aspired to teach English, however, the scarcity of work in pre-World War II New York led him to find work in Washington, D.C., with the Bureau of the Census. In 1949 he began teaching at Oregon State University, an experience that he would later fictionalize in his novel A New Life (1961). He left this post in 1961 to teach creative writing at Bennington College in Vermont.











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Age guide: 15



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1968 film starring Alan Bates (oscar nominated) and Dirk Bogarde







2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

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