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“[Bellow’s] body of work is more capacious of imagination and language than anyone else’s…If there’s a candidate for the Great American Novel, I think this is it.” –Salman Rushdie, The Sunday Times (London)
Saul Bellow was praised for his vision, his ear for detail, his humor, and the masterful artistry of his prose. Born of Russian Jewish parents in Lachine, Quebec in 1915, he was raised in Chicago. He received his Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in 1937, with honors in sociology and anthropology, and did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin. During the Second World War he served in the Merchant Marines.
His first two novels, Dangling Man (1944) and The Victim (1947) are penetrating, Kafka-like psychological studies. In 1948 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent two years in Paris and traveling in Europe, where he began his picaresque novel The Adventures of Augie March, which went on to win the National Book Award for fiction in 1954. His later books of fiction include Seize the Day (1956); Henderson the Rain King (1959); Mosby's Memoirs and Other Stories (1968); Mr. Sammler's Planet (1970); Humboldt's Gift (1975), which won the Pulitzer Prize; The Dean's December (1982); More Die of Heartbreak (1987); Theft (1988); The Bellarosa Connection (1989);The Actual (1996); Ravelstein (2000); and, most recently, Collected Stories(2001). Bellow has also produced a prolific amount of non-fiction, collected in To Jerusalem and Back, a personal and literary record of his sojourn in Israel during several months in 1975, and It All Adds Up, a collection of memoirs and essays.
Bellow's many awards include the International Literary Prize for Herzog, for which he became the first American to receive the prize; the Croix de Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, the highest literary distinction awarded by France to non-citizens; the B'nai B'rith Jewish Heritage Award for "excellence in Jewish Literature"; and America's Democratic Legacy Award of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, the first time this award has been made to a literary personage. In 1976 Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work."
For what has been widely described as both a picaresque and coming-of-age novel, Augie March is neither a quick read nor an easy one. Read morePublished on July 18 2004
Recently Martin Amis claimed this was the great American novel, and it's as good a candidate as I've read. Read morePublished on April 29 2004
Recently Martin Amis claimed this was the great American novel, and it's as good a candidate as I've read. Read morePublished on April 29 2004 by Douglas S. Hardy
He is a good-hearted young man who tries to make a go of it, but, as Stella says, falls into the whims and desires of so many people he meets. Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2004 by C Brunner
An elegant, poetic walk through the life of a uniquely American character. Augie March goes humbly into Depression-era America and, in the search for the best inside himself,... Read morePublished on Dec 23 2003 by Daniel H. Yeary
I'm not going to write a long winded literary review. I think this book is best read as a series of short stories. I read a chapter a day and was able to get through it that way. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2003 by T. zisis
absolutely essential if you are a young man (in his twenties) like i am. this is an exploration of a boys quest for other peoples pragmatism which at first, in each case he... Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2001 by clayton ayling