Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow was a Canadian
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

-born Jewish American writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

. For his literary contributions, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

, the Nobel Prize for Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

, and the National Medal of Arts
National Medal of Arts
The National Medal of Arts is an award and title created by the United States Congress in 1984, for the purpose of honoring artists and patrons of the arts. It is the highest honor conferred to an individual artist on behalf of the people. Honorees are selected by the National Endowment for the...

. He is the only writer to have won the National Book Award
National Book Award
The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards. Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the current year. In 1989 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book...

 three times, and the only writer to have been nominated for it six times.

In the words of the Swedish Nobel Committee
Nobel Committee
A Nobel Committee is the working body responsible for the most of the work involved in selecting Nobel Prize laureates. There are five Nobel Committees, one for each Nobel Prize....

, his writing exhibited "the mixture of rich picaresque novel and subtle analysis of our culture, of entertaining adventure, drastic and tragic episodes in quick succession interspersed with philosophic conversation, all developed by a commentator with a witty tongue and penetrating insight into the outer and inner complications that drive us to act, or prevent us from acting, and that can be called the dilemma of our age." His best-known works include The Adventures of Augie March
The Adventures of Augie March
The Adventures of Augie March is a novel by Saul Bellow.It centers on the eponymous character who grows up during the Great Depression...

, Henderson the Rain King
Henderson the Rain King
Henderson the Rain King is a 1959 novel by Saul Bellow. The book's blend of philosophical discourse and comic adventure has helped make it one of his most enduringly popular works.It is said to be Bellow's own favorite amongst his books....

, Herzog
Herzog (novel)
Herzog is a 1964 novel by Saul Bellow. Letters from the protagonist constitute much of the text.Herzog won the 1965 National Book Award for Fiction and the The Prix International...

, Mr. Sammler's Planet
Mr. Sammler's Planet
Mr. Sammler's Planet is a 1970 novel by the American author Saul Bellow. It was awarded the National Book Award for fiction in 1971.- Plot synopsis :Mr...

, Seize the Day, Humboldt's Gift
Humboldt's Gift
Humboldt's Gift is a 1975 novel by Saul Bellow, which won the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and contributed to Bellow's winning the Nobel Prize in Literature the same year....

 and Ravelstein
Ravelstein is Saul Bellow's final novel.Published in 2000, when Bellow was eighty-five years old, it received widespread critical acclaim. It tells the tale of a friendship between two university professors and the complications that animate their erotic and intellectual attachments in the face of...


There is only one way to defeat the enemy, and that is to write as well as one can. The best argument is an undeniably good book.

Quoted by Granville Hicks|Granville Hicks in The Living Novel: A Symposium (Macmillan, 1957; digitized version in 2006), p. ix

All human accomplishment has the same origin, identically. Imagination is a force of nature. Is this not enough to make a person full of ecstasy? Imagination, imagination, imagination. It converts to actual. It sustains, it alters, it redeems!

Henderson the Rain King|Henderson the Rain King (1959) [Viking/Penguin, 1984, ISBN 0-140-07269-1], ch. XVIII, p. 271

We are all such accidents. We do not make up history and culture. We simply appear, not by our own choice. We make what we can of our condition with the means available. We must accept the mixture as we find it — the impurity of it, the tragedy of it, the hope of it.

Great Jewish Short Stories, introduction to the Dell paperback edition (1963)

We mustn't forget how quickly the visions of genius become the canned goods of intellectuals.

Herzog (1964) [Penguin Classics, 2003, ISBN 0-142-43729-8], p. 82

I think that New York is not the cultural center of America, but the business and administrative center of American culture.

BBC radio interview, The Listener|The Listener (London, 1969-05-22)

Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.

Mr. Sammler's Planet (1970) [Penguin Classics, 2004, ISBN 0-142-43783-2], p. 156

Once you had read the Sigmund Freud|Psychopathology of Everyday Life, you knew that everyday life was psychopathology.

Humboldt's Gift|Humboldt's Gift (1975) [Penguin Classics, 1996, ISBN 0-140-18944-0], p. 5

I never yet touched a fig leaf that didn't turn into a price tag.

Humboldt's Gift (1975), p. 159

No realistic, sane person goes around Chicago without protection.

Humboldt's Gift (1975), p. 452