Bellow - A Biography by James Atlas

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With this masterly and original work, Bellow: A Biography, National Book Award nominee James Atlas gives the first definitive account of the Nobel Prize–winning author’s turbulent personal and professional life, as it unfolded against the background of twentieth-century events—the Depression, World War II, the upheavals of the sixties—and amid all the complexities of the Jewish-immigrant experience in America, which generated a vibrant new literature.

Drawing upon a vast body of original research, including Bellow’s extensive correspondence with Ralph Ellison, Delmore Schwartz, John Berryman, Robert Penn Warren, John Cheever, and many other luminaries of the twentieth-century literary community, Atlas weaves a rich and revealing portrait of one of the most talented and enigmatic figures in American intellectual history.

Detailing Bellow’s volatile marriages and numerous tempestuous relation-ships with women, publishers, and friends, Bellow: A Biography is a magnificent chronicle of one of the premier writers in the English language, whose prize-winning works include Herzog, The Adventures of Augie March, and, most recently, Ravelstein.

About James Atlas

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James Atlas is the founding editor of the Lipper/Viking Penguin Lives Series. A longtime contributor to The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, he was an editor at The New York Times Magazine for many years. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and many other journals. He is the author of Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and of a novel, The Great Pretender.
Published August 8, 2012 by Modern Library. 736 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bellow - A Biography

Publishers Weekly

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Long promised and much postponed, this first major biography of the Nobel Prize-winning author proves to be well worth the wait. Atlas's vigorous and incisive portrait grows out of thorough research a

Oct 02 2000 | Read Full Review of Bellow - A Biography

Book Reporter

James Atlas, whose previous biography DELMORE SCHWARTZ: The Life of an American Poet was nominated for the National Book Award, has recently completed the first comprehensive biography of their progenitor and alter-ego, Saul Bellow.

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London Review of Books

Why does it matter what he said?” But intellectuals do refer to one another to strengthen their arguments.’ When in 1974 Bellow got round to rereading Trilling’s essay in the context of Sincerity and Authenticity, he wrote a contrite letter to its author: ‘I feel guilty – no that won’t do – I fee...

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