Joyce Carol Oates reviews Bernard Malamud: A Writer’s Life by Philip Davis in the Times Literary Supplement. JCO offers a brief overview of Malamud’s work, and judges Davis with appreciation: “Most biographies trudge along the surface of a life, amassing and presenting facts, like rubble on a shovel, in which a very few precious gems might be visible; this pioneering biography of Malamud presents gem-like aphorisms … and insights and observations of the biographer’s, on virtually every page.”
In 1973 JCO reviewed Malamud’s story collection Rembrandt’s Hat in the Washington Post.
In The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates, she writes, “Bernard Malamud is a complex, intelligent (highly intelligent!), soft-spoken and well-spoken man; a gentleman; called me ‘my dear’ several times …. Spoke of his writing (The Fixer was intended to be a sort of folktale, not a ‘historical’ novel) and his writing habits (he works from nine until one most days … and reviews/reviewers (a subject on which he elaborated at dinner … like all writers I’ve met he seems to dislike reviewers in general and certain reviewers—Roger Sale—in particular; he was quite passionate on the subject) ….”