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, and lived mostly in Chicago with periods spent in New York and other cities; his work reflects a deep understanding of the city environment and urban life. 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 two collections of essays, journalism, and speeches, It All Adds Up (1994) and, posthumously, There Is Simply Too Much to Think About (2015). Bellow taught at several universities, including Northwestern, Chicago, and Boston.

See G. L. Cronin and B. Siegel, ed., Conversations with Saul Bellow (1994); B. Taylor, ed., Letters (2010); H. Wasserman (his literary agent), Handsome Is (1997), a memoir; G. Bellow, Saul Bellow's Heart: A Son's Memoir (2013); biographies by J. Atlas (2000) and Z. Leader (2015); 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. 1990).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Saul Bellow: Selected full-text books and articles

The Critical Response to Saul Bellow By Gerhard Bach Greenwood Press, 1995
Saul Bellow's Fiction By Irving Malin Southern Illinois University Press, 1969
A Political Companion to Saul Bellow By Gloria L. Cronin; Lee Trepanier University Press of Kentucky, 2013
Saul Bellow against the Grain By Ellen Pifer University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990
Saul Bellow's Herzog By Harold Bloom Chelsea House, 1988
Librarian's tip: This is a book of literary criticism
The Kingdom beyond Caste By Liston Pope Friendship Press, 1957
Librarian's tip: "Saul Bellow" begins on p. 271
The Modern Critical Spectrum By Nancy Marmer Goldberg; Gerald Jay Goldberg Prentice-Hall, 1962
Librarian's tip: "Saul Bellow" begins on p. 155
The Columbia Companion to the Twentieth-Century American Short Story By Blanche H. Gelfant; Lawrence Graver Columbia University Press, 2000
Librarian's tip: "Saul Bellow (1915-)" begins on p. 144
The Great American Augie By Hitchens, Christopher The Wilson Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 1, Winter 2001
Hanging for Pleasure and Profit: Truth as Necessary Illusion in Bellow's Fiction By Freedman, William Papers on Language & Literature, Vol. 35, No. 1, Winter 1999
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
A House of Words: Jewish Writing, Identity, and Memory By 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 By 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 By 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 By 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 By Neelakantan, G International Fiction Review, Vol. 30, No. 1-2, January 2003
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
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