In this collection of stories Malamud displays his great gifts as a writer - his humour, his profound concern for all human life and his ability to transmute common things and people into a strange poetry. Many of his characters are Jewish (the title story, for example, is about a rabbinical student trying to find a wife through a very peculiar marriage broker) but through his gentle and haunting exploration of their predicaments he illuminates a region that is common to every man's world.
Bernard Malamud wrote seven novels. His many awards include two National Book Awards, the Pulitzer Prize and the Gold Medal of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He served as president of the PEN American Center from 1979 to 1981, and taught for many years at Bennington College. He died in 1986.