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James Purdy: Malcolm

James Purdy: Malcolm

USA 2015, 233 pp., brochure,  19.95
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W. W. Norton
Introduced simply as »the boy on the bench«, the titular character of James Purdy's debut novel, »Malcolm« is a Candide-like figure who is taken under the wing of the »most famous astrologer of his period«, the worldly Professor Cox, and introduced to a series of increasingly bizarre characters and situations in this black comic fable. From an undertaker to a jazz singer and an ex-con turned author, among others, all become enchanted by the strangely affectless Malcolm as he is shepherded through New York City and becomes involved in the absurd dramas of everyone who encounters him. This is the debut novel of this highly controversial author who happened to arouse criticism by his extremely explicit explorations of (homo-)sexuality.
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