Books: Heroism Without Sentiment

THE STORIES OF BERNARD MALAMUD

by Bernard Malamud; Farrar Straus Giroux; 350 pages; $17.95

Sprinters do not ordinarily sign up for marathons, nor do lonely long-distance runners enter the crush of 100-yard dashes. But some authors perform an analogous feat by writing both short stories and novels. Instead of being complimented on their versatility, though, they frequently encounter a peculiar problem: facing themselves as competitors. Choices, so the assumption goes, must be made. Which Hemingway is the ultimate winner, the one who broke so many tapes in In Our Time or the one who strode with such manly endurance through The Sun...

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