Bernard Malamud: The Fixer

(4283 words)

Bernard Malamud’s 1966 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning novel, The Fixer, is a fictionalized reworking of the Mendel Beilis case and an allegory of the Holocaust. In Malamud’s novel, the title character is impoverished handyman Yakov Bok, who represents not only Europe’s history of persecuting its Jews, but also the six million slaughtered by the Nazis. Mendel Beilis was a Russian Jew who in 1911 was falsely accused of the stabbing murder of a twelve year old boy to use his blood to make matzos for Passover. This medieval blood libel charge did not hold, yet Beilis spent two and a half years of unspeakable suffering in Czar Nicholas II’s prison, before being set free. Malamud initially …

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Watts, Eileen. "The Fixer". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 May 2011
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]

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  1. Jewish American Writing