Saul Bellow's Heart by Greg Bellow

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The memoir is laced with charming vignettes that capture the tart humor of a writer who relished Groucho Marx and W. C. Fields...
-NY Times

Synopsis

Saul Bellow was easily angered, prone to argument, and palpably vulnerable to criticism, but according to his son, his young father was also emotionally accessible, often soft, and possessed of the ability to laugh at the world's folly and at himself. Part of Greg Bellow's bond with his father was grounded in that softness, in humor, and in the set of egalitarian social values he followed. Saul Bellow's accessibility and lightheartedness waned as he aged, and his social views hardened, although he was, fundamentally, no less vulnerable. His earlier tolerance for opposing viewpoints all but disappeared, and his ability to laugh at himself faded. These changes eroded much of the common ground between Bellow and his son and taxed their relationship so sorely that Greg often worried whether it would survive. But theirs were differences of mind, not of heart.

This memoir gives equal weight to the young Saul Bellow--the rebellious, irreverent, and ambitious young writer--who raised Greg, and the older Saul Bellow, famous and fiercely private. It paints a very human portrait of a man who hid behind parabolic stories, jokes, metaphors, and partial truths, never letting the public see his true self.
 

About Greg Bellow

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Gregory Bellow, PhD, was a psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapist for forty years and remains a member of the Core Faculty of The Sanville Institute. He lives in Redwood City, California.
 
Published April 23, 2013 by Bloomsbury USA. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Saul Bellow's Heart
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on Jan 13 2013

Ultimately, the memoir reveals more about how it felt to be the son of such a father than it does about the novelist.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Joseph Berger on May 03 2013

The memoir is laced with charming vignettes that capture the tart humor of a writer who relished Groucho Marx and W. C. Fields...

Read Full Review of Saul Bellow's Heart | See more reviews from NY Times

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Apr 15 2013

This sometimes emotionally distant, often clinically written, and unabashedly straightforward memoir from the eldest son of Saul Bellow reveals the "inner life" of a storming personality...

Read Full Review of Saul Bellow's Heart | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Washington Times

Above average
Reviewed by Martin Rubin on May 24 2013

Occasionally, Greg Bellow’s strong convictions, some might say prejudices, get in the way of his understanding his father...

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Reader Rating for Saul Bellow's Heart
72%

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