Saul Bellow by Saul Bellow
Letters

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Synopsis

"I hungrily read the book through in three nights, as though I'd stumbled upon a lost Bellow masterpiece only recently unearthed."
-Philip Roth

A literary milestone in its own right, this selection of correspondence connects us as never before to one of the greatest writers of our time. Saul Bellow was winner of the Pulitzer Prize, three National Book Awards, and the Nobel Prize in Literature. He also wrote marvelously acute, unsparing, tender, ferocious, hilarious, and wise letters throughout his long life (1915-2005). Including letters to William Faulkner, John Cheever, Ralph Ellison, Cynthia Ozick, Martin Amis, and many others, this vast self-portrait-shows the influences at work in a seminal literary mind.


 

About Saul Bellow

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Saul Bellow (1915-2005) is the only novelist to have received three National Book Awards. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976.J. M. Coetzee is a two-time winner of the Booker Prize and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. His books include Waiting for the Barbarians and Slow Man.Christopher Hitchens is a celebrated author and critic. His books include Love, Poverty, and War and Why Orwell Matters.
 
Published November 4, 2010 by Penguin Books. 624 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Saul Bellow

Kirkus Reviews

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I didn't ask to write about Saul Bellow: Letters so I could mention that I once received a letter from the late Nobel Prize–winning novelist.

Nov 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

The New York Times

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COLLECTED STORIES By Saul Bellow 442 pages. Viking. $30. The narrator of ''The Bellarosa Connection,'' one of the novellas that appears in Saul Bellow's eclectic new collection, is known as ''the memory man'': he is the founder of the Mnemosyne Institute, which trains executives and polit...

Oct 30 2001 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

The New York Times

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Although Bellow (1915-2005) repeatedly apologizes in this collection for being a lousy correspondent — suffering from some sort of “disagreeable reticence” — he is a gifted and emotionally voluble letter writer, convinced that sharing his experiences and thoughts with friends provides an escape h...

Nov 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

The New York Times

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Writing to an old schoolmate in 1948 — his lifelong devotion to the people of his youth is one of the most moving features of this book — he declares, almost creedally, that “the man we bring forth has no richness compared with the man who really exists, thickened, fed and fattened by all the fac...

Nov 18 2010 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

The New York Times

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Although Saul Bellow repeatedly apologizes for being a lousy correspondent in this volume of his collected letters, he shows himself to be a gifted and emotionally voluble letter writer.

Nov 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

The Guardian

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In an interview in 1976, Graham Greene described Saul Bellow as "difficult", a description that Bellow claimed to see straight through.

Nov 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

The Guardian

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Shortly after, he leaves his wife and a little later marries a woman he had met through the Partisan Review, one of the influential literary journals that defined his generation of writers, and brought together a number of the people who became Bellow's close friends and enemies: Robert Lowell, D...

Oct 30 2010 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

The Guardian

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In an interview in 1976, Graham Greene described Saul Bellow as "difficult", a description that Bellow claimed to see straight through.

Nov 19 2010 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

The Wall Street Journal

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But Katie said in a trembling voice: 'Take your typewriter away and never come to see me again.' " So wrote Saul Bellow (1915-2005) to the playwright Robert Hivnor in 1985.

Nov 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

Los Angeles Times

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Saul Bellow, being Saul Bellow, coined literary profit from emotional tumult.

Dec 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

The Telegraph

The novelist, Saul Bellow wrote in a letter in 1944, doesn’t find drama ready-made but “has to assemble it from the materials he bumps blindly, fish-like, with his nose.” By contrast, the critic – the letter mentions Edmund Wilson, though it’s addressed to Alfred Kazin – not only “finds ...

Nov 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

London Review of Books

Ravelstein segregates himself in an apartment building, with the pretentious name of ‘The Alhambra’, where his only contact with the world of the streets is a superannuated black skivvy: ‘As nearly as any honky could, he took into account her problems with her prostitute daughter, her jailed crim...

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London Review of Books

Bellow had bigger and better struggles in mind, but his letters do what we might wish literary letters never to do: they diminish our sense of the writer who wrote them.

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The New York Review of Books

Because Scholem is one of the greatest scholars of the century, I’m sorry I offended him, but having made this bow in his direction, I allow myself to add that the question reminds me of the one small children used to be asked by clumsy Sunday visitors in olden times: “Whom do you love better, yo...

Oct 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

The New York Review of Books

Saul Bellow, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976, was the author of seventeen books of fiction.

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Book Forum

Filled as they are with the encouragement of high regard, these letters are yet among the book's briefest and even least interesting, with hardly a word in them, over all the years, of what Bellow was reading, or working on, or even fulminating against, as his famous disaffection for the world as...

Mar 17 2016 | Read Full Review of Saul Bellow: Letters

The Paris Review

You've mentioned writing Augie March with a great sense of freedom, but I take it that Herzog was a very difficult book to write.

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