Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Saul Bellow  

Pen Name: 

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: June 10, 1915 in Lachine, Quebec, Canada

Died: April 5, 2005 in Brookline, Massachusetts (age 89)


-- Website -- Bellow
-- Website -- Prize
-- Saul Bellow on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=saul+bellow


Illinois Connection

Saul Bellow was 9 years old when his family moved from Canada to Chicago. He continued to live in Chicago until his death. He was a long-time faculty member at the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Saul Bellow is the dean of contemporary Illinois writers and one of the major 20th century American writers. He was the first novelist to win three National Book Awards. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1975 for ''Humboldt's Gift'', and the Nobel Prize for literature in 1976. Bellow was a novelist, short story writer, essayist, dramatist, editor and translator. A long-time faculty member at the University of Chicago, his novels combine a serious concern for ideas with a keen, often comic, mastery of the details of contemporary American life, including street life. Among his novels set either wholly or partially in Chicago are: ''Dangling Man'' (1944), ''The Adventure of Augie March'' (1953), ''Herzog'' (1964), ''Humboldt's Gift'' (1975), ''The Dean's December'' (1982), and ''The Actual'' (1997).


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Dangling Man (Penguin Classics)
ISBN: 0143039873

Penguin Classics. 2006

An essential masterwork by Nobel laureate Saul Bellow—now with an introduction by J. M. Coetzee

Expecting to be inducted into the army to fight in World War II, Joseph has given up his job and carefully prepared for his departure to the battlefront. When a series of mix-ups delays his induction, he finds himself facing a year of idleness. Saul Bellow's first novel documents Joseph's psychological reaction to his inactivity while war rages around him and his uneasy insights into the nature of freedom and choice.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Victim (Penguin Modern Classics)
ISBN: 0141188839

Penguin Books. 2008

Leventhal is a natural victim a man uncertain of himself, never free from the nagging suspicion that the other guy may be right. So when he meets a down-at-heel stranger in the park one day and finds himself being accused of ruining the man's life, he half believes it. He can't shake the man loose, can't stop himself becoming trapped in a mire of self doubt, can't help becoming ... a victim.

The Adventures of Augie March
ISBN: 0786186593

Blackstone Audio, Inc.. 2008

[MP3CD audiobook format in vinyl case.]

[Read by Tom Parker - aka - Grover Gardner]

Winner of the National Book Award

This grand-scale heroic comedy tells the story of the exuberant young Augie, a poor Chicago boy growing up during the Depression. While his neighborhood friends all settle down into their various chosen professions, Augie, as particular as an aristocrat, demands a special destiny. He latches on to a wild succession of occupations, proudly rejecting each one as too limiting. It is not until he tangles with a glamorous perfectionist named Thea, a huntress with a trained eagle, that his independence is seriously threatened. Luckily, his nature, like the eagle's, breaks down under the strain. He goes on to recruit himself to even more outlandish projects, but always ducks out in time to continue improvising his unconventional career.

With a jaunty sense of humor embedded in a serious moral view, Bellow's story both celebrates and satirizes the irrepressible American spirit.

Seize the Day (Penguin Modern Classics)
ISBN: 014118485X

Penguin Classics. 2011

“What makes all of this so remarkable is not merely Bellow’s eye and ear for vital detail. Nor is it his talent for exposing the innards of character in a paragraph, a sentence, a phrase. It is Bellow’s vision, his uncanny ability to seize the moment and to see beyond it.” –Chicago Sun-Times

Fading charmer Tommy Wilhelm has reached his day of reckoning and is scared. In his forties, he still retains a boyish impetuousness that has brought him to the brink of chaos: He is separated from his wife and children, at odds with his vain, successful father, failed in his acting career (a Hollywood agent once cast him as the “type that loses the girl”), and in a financial mess. In the course of one climactic day he reviews his past mistakes and spiritual malaise, until a mysterious philosophizing con man grants him a glorious, illuminating moment of truth and understanding, and offers him one last hope….

This Penguin Classics edition contains an introduction by Cynthia Ozick.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Henderson the Rain King: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141188804

Penguin Classics. 2011

"It blazes as fiercly and scintillatingly as a forest fire. There is life here a great rage to live more fully. In this it is a giant among novels." (San Francisco Examiner)

Saul Bellow evokes all the rich colors and exotic customs of a highly imaginary Africa in this acclaimed comic novel about a middle-aged American millionaire who, seeking a new, more rewarding life, descends upon an African tribe. Henderson’s awesome feats of strength and his unbridled passion for life win him the admiration of the tribe—but it is his gift for making rain that turns him from mere hero into messiah. A hilarious, often ribald story, Henderson the Rain King is also a profound look at the forces that drive a man through life.

This Penguin Classics edition contains an introduction by Adam Kirsch.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Herzog: Library Edition
ISBN: 0786162902

Blackstone Audio Inc. 2006

Herzog is the story of Moses Herzog, great sufferer, joker and moaner, cuckold, charmer, and man of our times. Seeing himself as a survivor, of his private disasters but also those of the age, Herzog cannot keep from asking what he calls the "piercing" questions.

Mosby's Memoirs and Other Stories (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
ISBN: 0140189459

Penguin Classics. 1996

“What Henry James did for the geographically disoriented, Bellow does for the culturally traumatized in the six stories gathered in this collection. Truly, Bellow is one of God’s spies.” –Los Angeles Times

In six darkly comic tales, Saul Bellow presents the human experience in all its preposterousness, poignancy, and pathos. In the title story, a professor well-known for his wit struggles to animate his memoirs as he teeters on the brink of despair in “the old System,” a distinguished biochemist tries to find room in his life for love and in “A Father to Be,” a man is startled to find himself seated next to his future adult son on a New York subway. The other stories, too, reflect Bellow’s special ability to depict men and women confronting, in highly idiosyncratic ways, the enigmas and oddities of existence.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.