Books: Genesis II

GOD'S GRACE by Bernard Malamud Farrar, Straus & Giroux 223 pages $13.50

For more than 20 years, Bernard Malamud has been talking like a novelist engagé. Much of his fiction has explored Jewish "ethicality," which he defines as "how Jews felt they had to live in order to go on living." In 1958, the year he published his National Book Award-winning stories, The Magic Barrel, he said, quoting Albert Camus: "The purpose of the writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself." He has deplored the self-devaluation of modern man that springs from his having...

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