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Professor’s new biography of American prose legend Saul Bellow

The life of Saul Bellow, the ‘greatest writer of 20th century American prose’ has been examined in a new biography by University of Roehampton professor, Zachery Leader.

Posted: 8 May 2015

image for news story Professor’s new biography of American prose legend Saul Bellow
The Life of Saul Bellow by Professor of English, Zachery Leader is published by Jonathan Cape.

The book is published this year to mark 100 years since Bellow was born. Professor Leader covers the period from Bellow’s birth in 1915 in Lachine, Canada, to the publication of Herzog in 1964. The Life of Saul Bellow is the first biography since the author’s death in 2005 and the first to discuss his life and work in its entirety. 

Professor Leader was granted unprecedented access to Bellow’s papers, including much previously restricted material and has conducted interviews with relatives, close friends, colleagues and partners.

Previews of the book, which was published this week (Thursday 5 May), have already received high praise from critically acclaimed authors such as Ian McEwen, who said: “Leader's achievement is to bring supreme intelligence to the relation of the art to the life - in Bellow's case formidably entwined. Leader's is an unsurpassable portrait of the turbulent life of a brilliant man, a master of English prose and supreme chronicler of modernity and its torments.”

Bellow was a Canadian-born American writer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976. He is also the only writer to win the National Book Award for Fiction three times. His works include The Adventures of Augie March, Humboldt’s Gift and Ravelstein.

The Life of Saul Bellow is published by Jonathan Cape and is now available to purchase.

Professor Leader will give a public reading from The Life of Saul Bellow at a special Department of English and Creative Writing book launch event. This event will showcase some of the talent that the department contains and will celebrate the department’s creative output in 2014-15.

Zachary Leader is Professor of English at the University of Roehampton. He currently teaches on the undergraduate English Literature course.

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