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Monday, June 10, 2019

A Great Writing 'Balancer'

“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

Bellow's writing is always so mesmerizing that you never have to worry about being anesthetized.  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 his date in 1915, Bellow is best known for his Adventures of Augie March, often labeled “The 20th Century Don Quixote.”   Bellow won every major writing award, including the Nobel Prize.  He is the only writer to win the National Book Award for Fiction 3 times and also be honored with the Lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the National Medal of Arts, and 2 Pulitzer Prizes.
His friend and protégé Phillip Roth said of him, "The backbone of 20th-century American literature has been provided by two novelists—William Faulkner and Saul Bellow. Together they are the Melville, Hawthorne, and Twain of the 20th century." 

Well-liked for his wry sense of humor, he once noted “You know, you never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write down.” 

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