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Remembering Saul Bellow48:22

This article is more than 14 years old.
photo"The backbone of 20th century American literature has been provided by two novelists: William Faulkner and Saul Bellow," said author Philip Roth in a statement last night. Saul Bellow died at his home in Brookline, Massachusetts yesterday at the age of 89.

Bellow lit up the American Century with bursting energy, a huge intelligence, and the voice of the searching everyman. In 1954, he won the National Book Award for "The Adventures of Augie March," and went on to win the same award two more times, becoming the first writer to accomplish such a feat. In 1965, he was awarded the International Literary Prize for "Herzog," becoming the first American to receive the prize. In 1976, he won the Pulitzer Prize for "Humbolt's Gift" and the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The son of Russian immigrants, he was born Solomon Bellows outside Montreal in Quebec. Chicago was the great home of his youth and of his best work. "If the Soul is the Mind at its purest, best, clearest, busiest, profoundest," wrote Cynthia Ozick, "the Bellow's charge was to restore the soul to American Literature."

Hear a conversation about the life and work of Nobel laureate and great American writer Saul Bellow.


Jonathan Wilson, novelist and author of "On Bellow's Planet: Readings from the Dark Side" and "Herzog: The Limits of Ideas." His novels include "A Palestine Affair" and "The Hiding Room." His new collection of short stories is "An Ambulance Is on the Way.";
Susan Cheever, novelist, columnist for Newsday and author of many books, including five novels and the memoirs "Note Found in a Bottle" and "Home Before Dark." Her new book is "My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson — His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous.";
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and a senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly.

This program aired on April 6, 2005.

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