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Bellow: A Biography
by James Atlas
With this masterly and original work, Bellow: A Biography, National Book Award nominee James Atlas gives the first definitive account of the Nobel Prize–winning author’s turbulent personal and professional life, as it unfolded against the background of twentieth-century events—the Depression, World War II, the upheavals of the sixties—and amid all the complexities of the J ...more
ebook, 32 pages
Published August 8th 2012 by Modern Library
(first published 2000)
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Reading James Atlas’s biography “Bellow”, about the life of the quintessentially assimilated American writer, forced me to confront a darker side of literary creation. Much as the moon shines her bright face down upon us bringing much needed luminescence to the dark night, writers give us novels, stories, prose and poems that act as a bright human connection in the dark worlds we inhabit within our skulls. But the moon has a side she hides from us – a flash-frozen surface lacking light and heat, ...more
This is definitely not going to end up being the definitive Ellmannesque biography of Bellow, but it was passable, in some regards. It gave the reader a skeletal outline of Bellow's life and works, and served well as a key to who was based on who in his novels, for the sort of people who like that thing. However, I have four complaints, two of which were likely out of the authors control, one of which could barely be helped, and the last of which was a rather unfortunate tactical error: (1) Ther ...more