The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune, 1915-1964 (Hardback)
  • The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune, 1915-1964 (Hardback)
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The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune, 1915-1964 (Hardback)

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£35.00
Hardback 832 Pages / Published: 07/05/2015
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2015 will mark the centenary of Saul Bellow's birth as well as the tenth anniversary of his death. The Life of Saul Bellow by Zachary Leader is the first biography since the author's death and the first to discuss his life and work in its entirety. Leader has been granted unprecedented access to Bellow's papers, including much previously restricted material and has conducted interviews with Bellow's relatives, close friends, colleagues and lovers. The first volume spans the period from Bellow's birth in 1915 in Lachine, Canada, to the publication of Herzog in 1964. Herzog made Bellow rich as well as famous. By the time of its publication, he was probably the most acclaimed writer in America. The critic James Wood has called him `the greatest writer of American prose in the twentieth century'. Leader's biography shows how this American prose, with its exhilarating mix of high culture and low, came into existence. It also traces Bellow's turbulent life away from the desk, as polemicist, teacher, husband, father, and lover. Fierce in his loyalties, Bellow was no less fierce in his enmities, combative in defence of his freedoms. A handsome and seductive man, he was also elusive, with a charm Philip Roth has described as `like a moat so oceanic that you could not even see the great turreted and buttressed thing it had been dug to protect. You couldn't even find the drawbridge.' This biography shows what it was like both to meet Bellow and to be him. It takes the full measure of the man and his work.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9780224084673
Number of pages: 832
Weight: 1208 g
Dimensions: 240 x 161 x 51 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Zachary Leader's Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune 1915-1964 is already the equal of Richard Ellmann's great Life of Joyce. The first instalment is scrupulous, dispassionate, morally sensitive, profoundly informative and marvellously acute in its literary judgements. It's a miracle of lucidly marshalled detail" -- Craig Raine, Books of the Year * Times Literary Supplement *
"The most purely delicious literary biography that I've come across. Leader's calm, gradual, but serenely excited prose vibrates with the joy of his thought coalescing with his subject, Saul Bellow" -- Richard Brody * New Yorker *
"It's a terrific biography. It's also a first-rate piece of literary criticism. The book doesn't really privilege the life or the fiction, or belittle the complexity of reading between them. But taken together they offer a very detailed kind of evidence, about the costs and benefits of Bellow's existential intensity" -- Benjamin Markovits * Guardian *
"Leader displays a phenomenal, line-by-line familiarity with Bellow's oeuvre. His biography is awesomely well-researched... His interweaving of life and works, letters, unpublished manuscripts and historical documents is seamless" -- John Walsh * Sunday Times *
"The first volume by Zachary Leader might be the most intelligent, fair-minded and most carefully furnished Life of a contemporary novelist I have read... It challenges both the official and the fictional versions, it upends the self-justifying letters, and offers an account that is never knowingly uncomplicated, sentimental or prejudiced, and never dull" -- Andrew O'Hagan * London Review of Books *

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