MLC Book Anniversary: The Sam Book


Photograph of Raymond Federman (left) with Samuel Beckett (right) by Steve Murez (

The Sam Book

by Raymond Federman


Today–July 1st–marks the 53rd publication anniversary of The Sam Book by Raymond Federman. The text is a creative essay and “bi-lingual” memoir based in Federman’s connection with Samuel Beckett.

In keeping with Federman’s collage-style of writing, The Sam Book features a mix of anecdotes, articles, conversations, quotes, and other narrative fragments, many of which are drawn from Beckett and his work. In keeping with Federman’s Franco-American background–and Beckett’s own French-to-English writing projects–The Sam Book alternates between passages in both languages. This panning between languages, modes, and moods creates an atmosphere of gauzy, dream-like contemplation. The text is at turns winsome, humorous, and aching, a beautifully intricate portrait of his friendship.

To view the MLC’s materials on The Sam Book, visit our digital archive at:



About the author

Meghan Lamb currently lives with her husband in St. Louis, where she is a fiction MFA candidate with the Washington University Writing Program and a Graduate Assistant with the Modern Literature Collection. She is the author of Silk Flowers (Birds of Lace) and Sacramento (Solar Luxuriance).