Bookclub Members voted for which of Marilyn Monroe’s books to read this month, and September’s book is: The Magic Barrel written by Bernard Malamud!

The book is a collection of thirteen short stories, originally published in 1958, and won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1959. The themes of the book are about finding hope, and the stories are described in this review from 1958 as “funny and tragic and true to humanity.”

The author Bernard Malamud was born in New York to Berthe and Max Malamud who were Russian Jewish immigrants. He won the Pulizer Prize for his book about antisemitism in the Russian Empire titled The Fixer, and there is an award named after him, the PEN/Malamud award, for the art of the short story.

Marilyn Monroe’s copy of The Magic Barrel sold at auction in 1999 as part of a book lot (that also included Malamud’s The Assistant) for $2,990.

Those interested in reading along can check out The Magic Barrel for free here. At the end of the month there will be a larger review of the book on the blog. There is also a space online for book club members to have a discussion of The Magic Barrel, and vote for October’s book. If you are interested in becoming a member, check out our membership information here. Memberships start at only $1.

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