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. In this volume, his life away from the desk, including his love life, is if anything more dramatic than in volume 1.
The final volume of the definitive authorised biography of one of the greatest American writers.
'A moving testament to one of the last century's greatest writers' Sunday Times
At forty-nine, Saul Bellow was at the pinnacle of American letters - he was rich, famous and critically acclaimed, with the best yet to come- Mr Sammler's Planet, Humboldt's Gift, all his best stories. He went on to win two more National Book Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Nobel Prize. However, away from his desk, Bellow's life was set to become embroiled in controversy- over foreign affairs, race, religion, education, social policy, the state of culture, the fate of the novel.
From the women he pursued and his turbulent family relations, to his struggles with cultural relativism and the perceived excesses of civil rights movements, this second and final volume of Zachary Leader's monumental Life of Saul Bellow charts Bellow's heroic energy and will throughout his life, right to the end - where his immense achievements and their costs, to himself and others, became ever more apparent.
'Brilliant' Spectator 'Compelling' Times Literary Supplement 'Riveting' New Statesman 'Superb' New York Times
Zachary Leader is Professor of English at the University of Roehampton. He is the author of Reading Blake's Songs, Writer's Block, Revision and Romantic Authorship and The Life of Kingsley Amis. Among the books he has edited are The Letters of Kingsley Amis and On Modern British Fiction. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Leader's portrait manages to be both subtle and even-handed... Leader's two-volume biography is an astonishingly detailed and thoughtful record of an important life. -- Benjamin Markovits Spectator Zachary Leader's monumental biography of Saul Bellow...[is] minutely researched and clear-eyed... Leader is wholly steeped in Bellow's oeuvre and able to find all the fictional equivalents of the real people who filled his life. -- John Mullan Guardian This second volume of biography perfectly captures the spirit of a complex genius... Bellow calls for a sensitive balance between censure and understanding, to avoid overshadowing his genius, and it is hard to imagine anyone doing it better [than Zachary Leader]. -- George Walden Evening Standard Book of the Week This will stand as the definitive account. Leader talked to the surviving three wives and drew on the memories of Bellow's three sons, as well as more than 100 friends (and one or two enemies) and devout literary progeny including Martin Amis and the critic James Wood. -- Tim Adams Observer Leader is our hyper-sensitive ammeter, charting the myriad effects of all this fame on his difficult, brilliant subject. A great feat of scholarship and, at the end, a moving testament to one of the last century's greatest writers. -- Claire Lowdon Sunday Times, Literary Book of the Year
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