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Saul Bellow was the most lauded American writer of the twentieth century—the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, and the only novelist to be awarded the National Book Award in Fiction three times. Preeminently a novelist of personality in all its wrinkles, its glories and shortcomings, Bellow filled his work with vibrant, garrulous, Saul Bellow was the most lauded American writer of the twentieth century—the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, and the only novelist to be awarded the National Book Award in Fiction three times. Preeminently a novelist of personality in all its wrinkles, its glories and shortcomings, Bellow filled his work with vibrant, garrulous, particular people—people who are somehow exceptionally alive on the page. In Bellow’s People, literary historian and critic David Mikics explores Bellow’s life and work through the real-life relationships and friendships that Bellow transmuted into the genius of his art. Mikics covers ten of the extraordinary people who mattered most to Bellow, such as his irascible older brother, Morrie, a key inspiration for The Adventures of Augie March; the writer Delmore Schwartz and the philosopher Allan Bloom, who were the originals for the protagonists of Humboldt’s Gift and Ravelstein; the novelist Ralph Ellison, with whom he shared a house every summer in the late 1950s, when Ellison was coming off the mammoth success of Invisible Man and Bellow was trying to write Herzog; and Bellow’s wife, Sondra Tschacbasov, and his best friend, Jack Ludwig, whose love affair Bellow fictionalized in Herzog. A perfect introduction to Bellow’s life and work, Bellow’s People is an incisive critical study of the novelist and a memorable account of a vibrant and tempestuous circle of midcentury American intellectuals.


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Saul Bellow was the most lauded American writer of the twentieth century—the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, and the only novelist to be awarded the National Book Award in Fiction three times. Preeminently a novelist of personality in all its wrinkles, its glories and shortcomings, Bellow filled his work with vibrant, garrulous, Saul Bellow was the most lauded American writer of the twentieth century—the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, and the only novelist to be awarded the National Book Award in Fiction three times. Preeminently a novelist of personality in all its wrinkles, its glories and shortcomings, Bellow filled his work with vibrant, garrulous, particular people—people who are somehow exceptionally alive on the page. In Bellow’s People, literary historian and critic David Mikics explores Bellow’s life and work through the real-life relationships and friendships that Bellow transmuted into the genius of his art. Mikics covers ten of the extraordinary people who mattered most to Bellow, such as his irascible older brother, Morrie, a key inspiration for The Adventures of Augie March; the writer Delmore Schwartz and the philosopher Allan Bloom, who were the originals for the protagonists of Humboldt’s Gift and Ravelstein; the novelist Ralph Ellison, with whom he shared a house every summer in the late 1950s, when Ellison was coming off the mammoth success of Invisible Man and Bellow was trying to write Herzog; and Bellow’s wife, Sondra Tschacbasov, and his best friend, Jack Ludwig, whose love affair Bellow fictionalized in Herzog. A perfect introduction to Bellow’s life and work, Bellow’s People is an incisive critical study of the novelist and a memorable account of a vibrant and tempestuous circle of midcentury American intellectuals.

32 review for Bellow's People: How Saul Bellow Made Life Into Art

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I found the chapter on Ralph Ellison especially interesting. I wish there'd been a full chapter on John Berryman - he's on the cover, and some of his lines haunt the text.

  2. 5 out of 5

    The Jewish Book Council

    Review by Jack Hatchett for the Jewish Book Council.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ira Singer

  4. 4 out of 5

    Angus Macdonald

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kristian

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sunshine

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dayna

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gil Roth

  9. 5 out of 5

    Derek Kalback

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  11. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janis

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emma Townshend

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vitali

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alan

  17. 5 out of 5

    Donald

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristen-Paige Madonia

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brett

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  24. 5 out of 5

    Farah M

  25. 4 out of 5

    C Elliott

  26. 4 out of 5

    Diana

  27. 5 out of 5

    Flaubertian

  28. 4 out of 5

    Isaac

  29. 5 out of 5

    Terri

  30. 4 out of 5

    Scotmanart Thoreaubillybudd

  31. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Firth

  32. 5 out of 5

    GuyDebord

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