The Life of Saul Bellow: Love and Strife, 1965-2005

The Life of Saul Bellow: Love and Strife, 1965-2005

by Zachary Leader

Hardcover

$40.00
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Wednesday, August 4

Overview

When this second volume of The Life of Saul Bellow opens, Bellow, at forty-nine, is at the pinnacle of American letters - rich, famous, critically acclaimed. The expected trajectory is one of decline: volume 1, rise; volume 2, fall. Bellow never fell, producing some of his greatest fiction (Mr Sammler's Planet, Humboldt's Gift, all his best stories), winning two more National Book Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Nobel Prize. At eighty, he wrote his last story; at eighty-five, he wrote Ravelstein. In this volume, his life away from the desk, including his love life, is if anything more dramatic than in volume 1. In the public sphere, he is embroiled in controversy over foreign affairs, race, religion, education, social policy, the state of culture, the fate of the novel.

Bellow's relations with women were often fraught. In the 1960s he was compulsively promiscuous (even as he inveighed against sexual liberation). The women he pursued, the ones he married and those with whom he had affairs, were intelligent, attractive and strong-willed. At eighty-five he fathered his fourth child, a daughter, with his fifth wife. His three sons, whom he loved, could be as volatile as he was, and their relations with their father were often troubled.

Although an early and engaged supporter of civil rights, in the second half of his life Bellow was angered by the excesses of Black Power. An opponent of cultural relativism, he exercised great influence in literary and intellectual circles, advising a host of institutes and foundations, helping those he approved of, hindering those of whom he disapproved. In making his case, he could be cutting and rude; he could also be charming, loyal, and funny. Bellow's heroic energy and will are clear to the very end of his life. His immense achievement and its cost, to himself and others, are also clear.


Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101875162
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/06/2018
Pages: 784
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

ZACHARY LEADER is professor of English literature at the Uni­versity of Roehampton in London. Although born and raised in the United States, he has lived in Britain for more than forty years and has dual British and American citizenship. In addi­tion to teaching at Roehampton, he has held visiting profes­sorships at Caltech and the University of Chicago. He was educated at Northwestern University; Trinity College, Cam­bridge; and Harvard University; and is the author of Reading Blake’s Songs, Writer’s Block, Revision and Romantic Authorship, The Life of Kingsley Amis, a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Biography, and The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune 1915–1964. He has edited Romantic Period Writings, 1798–1832: An Anthology (with Ian Haywood); The Letters of Kingsley Amis; On Modern British Fiction; Percy Bysshe Shelley: The Major Works (with Michael O’Neill); The Movement Reconsidered: Essays on Larkin, Amis, Gunn, Davie, and Their Contemporaries; and On Life-Writing. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and General Editor of The Oxford History of Life-Writing, a seven-volume series.

Read an Excerpt

6
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Life of Saul Bellow"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Zachary Leader.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

1 Fame and Politics in the 1960s 3

2 "All My Ladies Seem Furious" 51

3 Bad Behavior 105

4 A Better Man 156

5 Distraction/Divorce/Anthroposophy 200

6 The "Chicago Book" and The Dean's December 251

7 Nadir 305

8 Janis Freedman/Allan Bloom/Politics 354

9 To Seventy-Five 412

10 Papuans and Zulus 478

11 Intensive Care 528

12 Ravelstein 571

13 Love and Strife 603

Acknowledgments 647

A Note on Sources 651

Notes 657

Index 743

Customer Reviews