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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

Scope and Contents

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 copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

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