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Humboldt's Gift - Saul Bellow

Canadian-born Saul Bellow was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He was born Solomon Bello in Quebec, in 1915, to Russian immigrant parents, and raised in Chicago from age nine. Bellow loved language, reading and writing from a very young age and pinpointed Harriet Beecher Stowe's race relation novel Uncle Tom's Cabin as the first book he loved. Saul Bellow by Andrew Lycett

Bellow's first published novel, The Dangling Man, was released in 1944, during his WWII service in the merchant marines and was followed three years later by his second, The Victim, in 1947. Recognizing talent and wanting more, the Guggenheim Foundation awarded Bellow a fellowship in 1948, and he used the opportunity to move to Paris.

While there he wrote his 1953 novel The Adventures of Augie March, which took the National Book Award for Fiction in 1954. The Guggenheim and National Book Awards were just the beginning for Bellow, who went on to win a Pulitzer Prize (Humboldt's Gift), and the Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as winning the National Book Award for Fiction two more times (for Herzog and Mr. Sammler's Planet).

Bellow's writing also had international, multicultural appeal, garnering him recognition and respect across borders. In 1965, he was the first American to win  the International Literary Prize (for Herzog). Three years later, he was awarded the Croix de Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. Bellow died in 2005, at age 89. In his life he married five times, fathered four children (the last when he was 84), and wrote 14 novels and novellas, as well as short stories and non-fiction.

Novels by Saul Bellow

Short Fiction by Saul Bellow

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