Janna Malamud Smith


My Father is a Book

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Very strange for me to read My Father - I grew up among the characters you name (I adored Tina Calabro) and have settled in Corvallis as an adult. I just sent your book to my mother, a North Bennington resident as far back as the marble sidewalks throughout the village. Your father's story is lovely.

I am very grateful to have found "an absorbing errand" and I am recommending the book to other art professors and my gallery. I am living in Roslindale, and wondered If you run support group for artists in the area? If yes, I would be a participant. Thank you so much for writing the book. Jennifer Moller

Deep thanks to you for "An Absorbing Errand;" you've cut to the root of many things I've struggled with for most of my life. However, whether or not I could uproot or nurture (whatever the case might be) the rhizome of each can only be accomplished in the actual doing....

Thank your for your beautiful and informative memior. Our book discussion group here in Lyndonville, VT read the original essay as a prelude to discussing your Pop's 1971 book, "The Tenaants". We enjoyed it for itself, and it helped guide us towards a rewarding discussion of the difficult questions posed by the novel. I'm looking foward to reading your books.

I am studying your essay "My Son, My Compass" in college. We are comparing it to others and the main question for it is how the authors are stuck in two worlds. As for you being stuck in the one world as how you raised him and the other world about how he became a vegan and took the family on that way also...is he still a vegan and I admire all of you for what you do and you are an inspiration to us women, daughters and mothers alike Kristy....NEW JERSEY

I'm enjoying reading this memoir - it's touchingly human and evocative. It's nice to see Bernard Malamud though your experiences of him as father and writer- and to see the conflicts in him that have colored and added texture to his works. The book also explains a family history that gives perspective to the characters and lives he wrote about. I am grateful for your book, "My Father is a Book." Thank you.

Selected Works

"[A] comprehensive, insightful, and articulate guide for everyone who has ever attempted to make art." --San Francisco Chronicle
"Beautiful...A must for anyone interested in the work of Bernard Malamud, or the writer's life..." Mary Gordon
“a gorgeously written anecdotal cultural history of the emergence and the fragile sanctity of the modern creative self…”
-The New York Times Book Review
“reads like a deep, intelligent conversation with a valued woman friend.”
--Ottawa Citizen
"Fascinating. . . provocative."
--Washington Post