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Collection Overview

Malin, Irving
Irving Malin Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
7 boxes
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes B-001101 to B-001107


Consists primarily of correspondence with authors such as Gordon Lish, James Purdy, Cynthia Ozick, and Paul Bowles, among many others, along with some writings and publisher files of American literary critic and professor of literature Irving Malin (1934-2014).

Collection Description & Creator Information


This collection consists primarily of American literary critic and literature professor Irving Malin's incoming correspondence from a wide range of professors, critics, and authors, such as Philip Roth, Paul Bowles, Don DeLillo, James Merrill, William Styron, James Purdy, Cynthia Ozick, Raymond Carver, Gordon Lish, and Joyce Carol Oates, among others. Some of the correspondence from authors is revealing in that many provide insight about their own artistic and, sometimes, emotional struggles as writers. Much of the incoming correspondence from fellow English professors, such as Harold Bloom and Leslie Fiedler, deals with the routine matters of academic life, such as rights and permissions for books, requests for contributions to critical collections or symposia, and university gossip; but also offer insight on how particular critics viewed certain authors.

Also included in the collection are some writings and manuscripts along with publisher files consisting primarily of legal and financial documents.

Collection Creator Biography:


Irving Malin (1934-2014) was an American literary critic and professor of literature at the City College of the City University of New York, where he taught from 1960 until his retirement in 1996. Malin was the author or editor of twenty critical works on authors including Saul Bellow, William Styron, William Faulkner, Thomas Pynchon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Don DeLillo, and others. Initially gaining recognition as a critic of American Jewish literature, Malin subsequently became interested in authors who practiced innovative techniques. A frequent book reviewer, particularly for the Review of Contemporary Fiction, his criticism garnered respectful appreciation from many writers, several of whom became long-time friends, such as James Purdy, Cynthia Ozick, and Gordon Lish.

Collection History


Purchased in 2017 . (AM 2018-46)

Custodial History

Glenn Horowitz Bookseller acquired the collection from Irving Malin's wife, Ruth Lief Malin, after her husband's death.


A couple of official faculty-related records for Irving were removed from the collection.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Faith Charlton in December 2017 with assistance from Julia English '19, Fiona Bell '18, and Matthew Oakland '20. Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in December 2017.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Irving Malin Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes B-001101 to B-001107