The Tenants tells the story of a writer labouring to complete a novel which he has been struggling over for the past ten years. He stays in a dilapidated building in Manhattan of which he is the sole tenant. He stays there much to the chagrin of its troubled owner who is eager to demolish it. The situation gets worse as an aspiring black writer sneaks into the building and starts his literary pursuit. Though the two characters Harry and Willie are polarized and stereotyped, their relationship is defined with a significant amount of psychological accuracy. The surrealistic quality of the novel suggests the way in which art in the form of romance conveys the actual essence of human experience. The urban renewal process is rendered with a certain nightmarish quality that depicts a kind of waste land. The following description is parti...
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...lection of Critical Essays.
Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1975.
---, Eds. Bernard Malamud and the Critics. New York: New York University
Howard, Leon. Literature and the American Tradition. Garden City: Doubleday, 1960.
Levine, George. “Realism Reconsidered.” The Theory of the Novel, ed. John
Halperin. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.
Malamud, Bernard. The Assistant. 1957; rpt. New York: Dell, 1971.
---. The Tenants. 1971; rpt. New York: Pocket Books, 1972.
Olderman, Raymond M. Beyond the Waste Land: The American Novel in the
Nineteen- Sixties. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1973.
Pinsker, Sanford. The Schlemiel as Metaphor: Studies in the Yiddish and American
Jewish Novel. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1971.
Roth, Philip. Reading Myself and Others. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1975.
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