Saul Bellow, the Great Outsider, Dies Aged 89; SON OF RUSSIAN IMMIGRANTS BECAME ONE OF AMERICA'S GREATEST NOVELISTS

The Evening Standard (London, England), April 6, 2005 | Go to article overview

Saul Bellow, the Great Outsider, Dies Aged 89; SON OF RUSSIAN IMMIGRANTS BECAME ONE OF AMERICA'S GREATEST NOVELISTS


Byline: DANIEL JOHNSON

NOBEL prize-winning novelist Saul Bellow has died aged 89.

Friend and lawyer Walter Pozen said Bellow died yesterday of natural causes at his home in Massachusetts, with his wife and daughter at his side.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and three US National Book Awards, Bellow rose from writing book reviews for $10 apiece to become one of the greatest novelists in the English language, with works such as The Adventures Of Augie March, Herzog, and Henderson The Rain King.

Although he was one of the finest novelists, he was also the most politically incorrect. He relished controversy and did not suffer fools gladly - especially those who attempted to toadie to him.

Even before the 1953 publication of Augie March, Bellow had high ambitions.

When a friend who read the manuscript told him it would change the American novel, he replied: "Not the American novel.

The American language."

The book was a popular success-but he soon found himself up against the American literary establishment.

In novels such as Humboldt's Gift - which saw him win the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes in 1975 - Herzog, Henderson The Rain King and Mr Sammler's Planet, Bellow encompassed the experience of life in mid-20th century America.

His prose achieved a depth and breadth, passion and subtle irony that placed him in a league of his own.

Born in 1915 in Canada to Russian immigrants, the young Bellow moved with his family to Chicago. …

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