During World War II, millions of Jews were murdered by the Nazis under the direction of German dictator Adolph Hitler. Many Jewish refugees immigrated to the United States, a pattern that continued after the end of the war. This story takes place in the 1950s, when many Holocaust survivors like Sobel, the shoemaker’s assistant, struggled to establish new lives in the United States.
Today’s author Bernard Malamud was an American novelist and short story writer. Along with Saul Bellow, Joseph Heller, and Phillip Roth, he was one of the best known American Jewish authors of the 20th century. His baseball novel The Natural was adapted into a 1984 film starring Robert Redford. His 1966 novel The Fixer, about antisemitism in the Russian Empire, was also filmed and won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
Today’s story, “The First Seven Years,” depicts a Polish immigrant’s desire to see his daughter achieve a better life. His notion of that life, however, is not the same as hers.
“The First Seven Years,” by Bernard Malamud…we begin….