Saul Bellow: Letters

Saul Bellow: Letters

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, three National Book awards, and the Nobel Prize in Literature, Saul Bellow wrote marvelously acute, unsparing, tender, ferocious, hilarious, and wise letters throughout his long life (1915-2005). Friends, lovers, wives, colleagues, and fans all cross these pages. Some of the finest letters are to Bellow’s fellow writers–William Faulkner, John Cheever, Lionel Trilling, Stanley Elkin, Philip Roth, Alfred Kazin, Martin Amis, Ralph Ellison, Karl Shapiro, James Salter, Allan Bloom, Cynthia Ozick and others. Intimate, ironical, rueful and amused, this vast self-portrait–indeed, the autobiography Bellow never wrote–shows the influcences at work in the man and illuminate his enduring legacy–the novels and short stories that earned him a Nobel Prize and the admiration of the world over. Saul Bellow: Letters is a major literary event and an important edition to Bellow’s incomparable body of work.


“It comes as no surprise to find that the great novelist was a great correspondent as well. I hungrily read the book through in three nights, as though I’d stumbled upon a lost Bellow masterpiece only recently unearthed.”
—Philip Roth

“In the Letters, as in everything else he wrote, Saul Bellow never dipped below a certain level–and that level is stratospheric.”
—Martin Amis

Saul Bellow: Letters is a treasure trove. It’s fascinating to see one of our great American writers take form.”
—Nathan Englander

“Bellow’s sheer brio, his occasional feuds and deep friendships, his unquenchable enthusiasm for being human, and his incomparable prose, make this collection of letters an absolute must for anyone who is remotely interested in American literature of the 20th century.”
Financial Times

“…the letters of Saul Bellow take on a breathtaking beauty and shattering gravity…Feisty, smart, but most of all thrillingly intimate, these letters ripen and mature as they go along.”
Chicago Tribune

“There’s so much going on here, such swift and impassioned dialogue between the spiritual and the physical, the place and those who inhabit it, that, as so often in his books, we can only gasp in joyful wonder. ”
—Gabriel Josipovici, Wall Street Journal

“Taylor has selected and edited and annotated these letters with exquisite judgment and care. This is an elegantissimo book. Our literature’s debt to Taylor, if our culture still cares, is considerable.”
—Leon Wieseltier, New York Times Book Review


“This Caring or Believing or Love Alone Matters”
Introduction to Saul Bellow: Letters
Reprinted in Construction Magazine
June 30, 2012

“Wise Guy”
Review by Kevin Stevens
Dublin Review of Books, Spring 2012

“Bellow a la carta”
La Razón
December 7, 2011

“Cartas inéditas de Nobel Saul Bellow”
La Vanguardia
December 3, 2011

“In Defense of Yetta”
The New York Review of Books
July 14, 2011

“Well-Written ‘Letters’: Saul Bellow Shows Us How”
Review by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
All Things Considered
March 15, 2011

Saul Bellow: Letters
Review by Leah Garrett
The Sydney Morning Herald
February 19, 2011

“Lasting Man”
Review by Cynthia Ozick
The New Republic
February 10, 2011

“Writers’ Letters: A Roundtable”
The Book Show, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
January 28, 2011

“Saul Bellow’s Emotional Crucible”
Excerpted from Introduction to Saul Bellow: Letters The National Post (Canada)
January 20, 2011

“Hurricane Man”
Review by Michael O’Donnell
The Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2011

“Man of Letters”
Review by Jeremy Berlin
The American Scholar, Winter 2011

“The Real Thing: Saul Bellow Off the Record”
Review by David Galenson
The Huffington Post
January 10, 2011

“Fine Jewish Whine”
Review by Benjamin Balint
January 9, 2011

“The Letters of Saul Bellow”
Review by Adam Kirsch
The Times Literary Supplement
December 29, 2010

“Epistle Whip”
Review by Geordie Williamson
The Australian
December 29, 2010

“Book Review: Saul Bellow’s Letters”
by Alan Cheuse
NPR’s All Things Considered
December 27, 2010

“Review of Saul Bellow: Letters
Review by Richard Rayner
Los Angeles Times
December 26, 2010

“In un libro di lettere di Saul Bellow”
Il Foglio
December 18, 2010
(in English)

“The Year in Reading: Richard Brody”
Blogpost by Richard Brody
The New Yorker (digital edition)
December 14, 2010

“Choosing the 10 Best Books of 2010”
The New York Times
December 1, 2010

“The Whole Human Mess: On Saul Bellow”
Review by William Deresiewicz
The Nation
November 23, 2010

“Michiko Kakutani’s Top 10 Books of 2010”
The New York Times
November 23, 2010

“Saul Bellow’s Serious Fight Against Seriousness”
Review by Lee Siegel
The New York Observer
November 22, 2010

“On Whom Nothing Was Lost”
Review by Leon Wieseltier
The New York Times Book Review
November 21, 2010

Saul Bellow: Letters
Review by John Banville
The Guardian
November 20, 2010

“Sosiego final de Saul Bellow”
Review by Antonio Munoz Molina
El Pais
November 20, 2010

“Mr. Bellow’s Planet”
Interview with Eric Herschthal
The Jewish Week
November 16, 2010

“Reading Saul Bellow’s Letters”
Interview with Tom Ashbrook
NPR’s On Point
November 15, 2010

Saul Bellow: Letters
Review by Leo Robson
The New Statesman
November 11, 2010

“Dispatches and Details from a Life in Literature”
Review by Michiko Kakutani
The New York Times
November 8, 2010

Saul Bellow: Letters
Review by Justin Cartwright
The Financial Times
November 8, 2010

“An Epistolary Performer”
Review by Gabriel Josipovici
The Wall Street Journal
November 6, 2010

“Bellow in His Dream Car”
An Interview with Scott Sherman
Dissent Magazine
November 4, 2010

“Pen Pal”
Review by Jonathan Wilson
Tablet Magazine
November 2, 2010

“A Profane Reliquary”
Review by Mark Cohen
The Forward
October 27, 2010

“The Epistolary Adventures of Saul Bellow”
Interview with Evan R. Goldstein
The Chronicle of Higher Education
July 28, 2010

“Among Writers”
A Selection of Saul Bellow’s Letters
The New Yorker
April 26, 2010