Saul Bellow

Saul Bellow, 1915–2005, American novelist, b. Lachine, Que., as Solomon Bellow, grad. Northwestern Univ., 1937. Born of Russian-Jewish parents, he grew up in the slums of Montreal and Chicago. His fiction features uniquely telling characterizations and is frequently darkly comic. His novels typically deal with large philosophical issues: the search for meaning, the conflicts between moral anomie and the quest for a personal ethic, and the tensions between the imaginative individual and a sometimes indifferent, sometimes entangling world. One of the most distinguished novelists of the mid-20th cent., he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976. His novels include Dangling Man (1944), The Adventures of Augie March (1953; National Book Award), Seize the Day (1956), Henderson the Rain King (1959), Herzog (1964; National Book Award), Mr. Sammler's Planet (1970; National Book Award), Humboldt's Gift (1975; Pulitzer Prize), The Dean's December (1982), and Ravelstein (2000). He also published four books of stories, Mosby's Memoirs (1968), Him with His Foot in His Mouth (1984), Something to Remember Me By (1991), and Collected Stories (2001); a novella, The Actual (1997); a memoir, To Jerusalem and Back (1976); a play, The Last Analysis (1964); and an essay collection, It All Adds Up (1994). Bellow taught at a number of universities, including Northwestern Univ., the Univ. of Chicago, and Boston Univ.

See G. L. Cronin and B. Siegel, ed., Conversations with Saul Bellow (1994); B. Taylor, ed., Letters (2010); G. Bellow, Saul Bellow's Heart: A Son's Memoir (2013); biography by J. Atlas (2000); studies by I. Malin (1969), M. Harris (1980), D. Fuchs (1984), P. Hyland (1992), G. Bach, ed. (1995), G. Bach and G. L. Cronin, ed. (2000), and M. A. Quayum (2004); bibliography by G. L. Cronin and B. H. Hall (2d ed. 1987).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Critical Response to Saul Bellow
Gerhard Bach.
Greenwood Press, 1995
Saul Bellow's Fiction
Irving Malin.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1969
Saul Bellow against the Grain
Ellen Pifer.
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990
The Writer Observed
Harvey Breit.
World Publishing, 1956
Librarian’s tip: "Saul Bellow" begins on p. 271
The Modern Critical Spectrum
Gerald Jay Goldberg; Nancy Marmer Goldberg.
Prentice-Hall, 1962
Librarian’s tip: "Saul Bellow" begins on p. 155
The Columbia Companion to the Twentieth-Century American Short Story
Blanche H. Gelfant; Lawrence Graver.
Columbia University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Saul Bellow (1915-)" begins on p. 144
The Great American Augie
Hitchens, Christopher.
The Wilson Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 1, Winter 2001
Hanging for Pleasure and Profit: Truth as Necessary Illusion in Bellow's Fiction
Freedman, William.
Papers on Language & Literature, Vol. 35, No. 1, Winter 1999
A House of Words: Jewish Writing, Identity, and Memory
Norman Ravvin.
McGill-Queens University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "An End to Endings: Saul Bellow's Anti-apocalyptic Novel"
Heroic Fiction: The Epic Tradition and American Novels of the Twentieth Century
Leonard Lutwack.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1971
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Bellow's Odysseys"
The Schlemiel as Metaphor: Studies in Yiddish and American Jewish Fiction
Sanford Pinsker.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1991 (Revised edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Saul Bellow's Lovesick Schlemiels"
In the Mainstream: The Jewish Presence in Twentieth-Century American Literature, 1950s-1980s
Louis Harap.
Greenwood Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "From Life to Limbo: Saul Bellow"
Beast in Chicago: Saul Bellow's Apocalypse in the Dean's December
Neelakantan, G.
International Fiction Review, Vol. 30, No. 1-2, January 2003
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