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By Bernard Malamud

This selection of brief tales through Bernard Malamud includes:

The Silver Crown

Man within the Drawer

The Letter

In Retirement

Rembrandt's Hat

Notes from a woman at a Dinner Party

My Son the Murderer

Talking Horse

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I took a cab. ” “I had forgotten this. ” might be, i presumed. nonetheless, I had virtually needed to positioned my foot within the door to get in. Levitansky’s spouse had replied my doubtful knock, her eyes nervous, an expression I took to be the single she lived with. The eyes, astonished to behold a stranger, turned outright opposed as soon as I had inquired in English for her husband. I felt, as in Kiev, that my local tongue had develop into my enemy. “Have you now not the inaccurate condo? ” “I wish now not. no longer if Gospodin Levitansky lives right here. I got here to determine him approximately his—ah—manuscript. ” Her startled eyes darkened as her face paled. Ten seconds later i used to be within the flat, the door locked in the back of me. “Levitansky! ” she summoned him. It had a reluctant caliber: Come yet don’t come. He seemed in it appears an identical blouse, pants, tricolor socks. there has been in the beginning pretend-boredom in a stressful, drained face. He couldn't, in spite of the fact that, disguise pleasure, his lit eyes roving, returning, roving. “Oh ho,” Levitansky stated, no matter what it intended. My God, i presumed, has he been anticipating me? “I got here to speak to you for a couple of minutes, should you don’t mind,” I stated. “I are looking to say what i actually give some thought to the tales you kindly permit me learn. ” He curtly spoke in Russian to his spouse and he or she snapped a solution again. “I desire to introduce my spouse, Irina Filipovna Levitansky, biochemist. She is sufferer even if no longer a saint. ” She smiled tentatively, an enticing girl approximately twenty-eight, a bit at the hefty facet, in apartment slippers and undeniable costume. the sting of her slip hung lower than her skirt. there has been a marginally of British in her accessory. “I am happy to be familiar. ” if this is the case one hardly ever spotted. She stepped into black pumps and slipped a bracelet on her wrist, a lit cigarette dangling from the nook of her mouth. Her arms and legs have been shapely, her brown hair lower brief. I had the influence of tight skinny lips in a light face. “I will visit Kovalevsky, subsequent door,” she acknowledged. “Not on my account, i am hoping? All i need to say—” “Our acquaintances within the subsequent flat,” Levitansky grimaced. “Also skinny partitions. ” He knocked a knuckle on a hole wall. I indicated my dismay. “Please, now not long,” Irina stated, “because i'm afraid. ” definitely now not of me? Agent Howard Harvitz, C. I. A. —a comical notion. Their small sq. lounge wasn’t unattractive yet Levitansky signaled the examine within. He provided candy cognac in whiskey tumblers, then sat dealing with me on the fringe of his chair, repressed power all yet noticeable. I had the short-term feel his chair was once approximately to maneuver, fly off. If it does he is going by myself. “What I got here to say,” I instructed him, “is that i love your tales and am sorry I didn’t say so final evening. i admire the first, close-to-the-bone caliber of the writing. The tales galvanize me as robust if easily wrought; I enjoy your feeling for individuals and whilst the objectivity with that you render them. It’s type of Chekhovian in caliber, yet extra compressed, sinewy, direct, when you be aware of what I suggest. for example, that tale concerning the previous father coming to work out his son who geese out on him.

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