Frank McLynn

He was Happy to Be Dissected Mercilessly

Bellow: A Biography

By

Faber & Faber 784pp £25 order from our bookshop

At eighty-five, Saul Bellow is the Grand Old Man of American Letters. A recent Sunday Times poll of his peers established him as ‘greatest living novelist’, while an even more imposing US survey identified him as one of the hundred most important people in the world. He has won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Pulitzer and just about every other prize in sight, and seems to have taught at most major universities in the Anglo-Saxon world. His savage jousts with America’s legion of PC bien pensants are legendary and he has become, if anything, even more prolific in his old age. He deserves a good biography and here he gets one.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Half-way through The Conquest of Water I felt as if I had been subjected to the literary equivalent of excessive c… ,
    • 'Volume five, then, but still no end in sight. Sandbrook is clearly enjoying himself so much he can’t bear the seri… ,
    • 'By the end of the book something so weighty, stylish and impressive has been built up that one feels far nearer to… ,
    • 'Her ensuing psychotic episode is described so convincingly ... that the reader will wonder if Dobrakovová did not… ,
    • 'The perspectives complement and contest one another, amounting to a glorious, atmospheric set of ventriloquisms.'… ,
    • RT : I reviewed The Testaments for . I will not be taking any questions at this time. ,
    • 'The Testaments is, first and foremost, a manual of resistance ... a type of resistance that is organised, articula… ,