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Sunday, June 10, 2018

'Good Hands' for Great Writing

“A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life. With a novelist, like a surgeon, you have to get a feeling that you've fallen into good hands - someone from whom you can accept the anesthetic with confidence.” – Saul Bellow

Canadian by birth and later a naturalized U.S. citizen, Bellow attended the University of Chicago and Northwestern University where he studied writing and English but earned degrees in sociology and anthropology.  The fact that he was an anthropologist probably is not a surprise for his readers who find anthropological references sprinkled throughout his many award-winning books.  

Born on this date in 1915, Bellow’s 3 best-known novels are Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, and Humboldt’s Gift.  For his work, he won every major writing award, including the Nobel Prize, the National Book Award for Fiction (3 times), the Pulitzer Prize (twice) and the National Medal of The Arts.    
                                     “When we ask for advice,” Bellow once noted with his usual wry sense of humor, “we are usually just looking for an accomplice.”

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