Saul Bellow's Heart: A Son's Memoir

Author(s): Greg Bellow

Biography | Biography

'The greatest American author ever, in my view ...His sentences seem to weigh more than anyone else's. He is like a force of nature ...He breaks all the rules ...The people in Bellow's fiction are real people, yet the intensity of the gaze that he bathes them in, somehow through the particular, opens up into the universal' Martin Amis 'What Bellow had to tell us in his fiction was that it was worth it, being alive' Linda Grant 'The backbone of twentieth-century American literature has been provided by two novelists - William Faulkner and Saul Bellow. Together they are the Melville, Hawthorne and Twain of the twentieth century' Philip Roth 'If the soul is the mind at its purest, best, clearest, busiest, profoundest, then Bellow's charge has been to restore the soul to American literature' Cynthia Ozick Greg Bellow's bond with his famous-writer father was grounded in a tenderness, social optimism, and light-hearted humour rarely attributed to a man more often remembered for being quick to anger and schooled in rational argument. This intimate memoir gives voice both to the 'Young Saul' - the rebellious, irreverent and ambitious young writer, and dedicated father - and to the 'Old Saul', the writer known to the wider world, whose edges hardened as his social views turned pessimistic. The change taxed the relationship between Bellow and his son so sorely that Greg feared it might not survive. Saul Bellow's Heart is an affectionate, revealing portrait of a fiercely private man, a picture of a moving father-son relationship and a unique insight into one of America's greatest twentieth-century writers.


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An intimate and honest portrait of a fiercely private man, of a moving father-son relationship and of the family man behind the iconic writer...

Saul Bellow's Heart is a fascinating personal document written with much sympathy, yet an admirable candor, by Bellow's eldest son Gregory, a psychotherapist. It is a portrait of the artist at close quarters, and at a little distance; a confirmation of the deep autobiographical roots of Bellow's fiction; and a revelation of what it means to be the child, in this case one of three sons, of the most lavishly acclaimed American writer of the second half of the 20th century Joyce Carol Oates A very personal, affectionate account of a giant of modern literature Sunday Herald Saul Bellow was an incandescent being, and also incandescently difficult. Greg Bellow has written a wrenchingly candid account of being his son - a real son, not a literary son: there is no self-invention here, there is only self-discovery. I was deeply moved by Greg Bellow's memoir of his passage from pain to acceptance. Amid the brutalities of love he has found its blessing Leon Wieseltier

Gregory Bellow, PhD, was a psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapist for forty years and remains a member of the Core Faculty of The Sanville Institute. He lives in Redwood City, California.

General Fields

  • : 9781408835487
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : May 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Greg Bellow
  • : Hardback
  • : very good
  • : 240