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Malamud Wins National Book Award for Novel Based on Beilis Case

Bernard Malamud, the American-Jewish author, was announced today the winner of the National Book Award in fiction for his latest novel, “The Fixer,” a story based on the notorious Mendel Beilis ritual murder case of 1911 in Czarist Russia. The award, carrying with it a prize of $1, 000, will be the second for Mr. Malamud. He received the National Book Award in 1950 for his collection of short stories, “The Magic Barrel.”

The award is given annually by committee representing booksellers, publishers and manufacturers. A coveted prize, it ranks in this country on a level with the annual Pulitzer Prize. In the Beilis case, a Jewish brick-kiln worker in Kiev was falsely accused of murdering a Christian boy “for ritual purposes.” After a prolonged trial which attracted worldwide attention, Beilis was freed. He came subsequently to the United States, and died at Saratoga Springs in 1941.