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Saul Bellow Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Dangling Man (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Victim (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Adventures of Augie March (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Seize the Day (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Henderson the Rain King (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Herzog (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mr. Sammler's Planet (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Humboldt's Gift (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dean's December (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
More Die of Heartbreak (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Theft (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Actual (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ravelstein (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Bellarosa Connection (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Leaving the Yellow House (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

The Last Analysis (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Mosby's Memoirs (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Portable Saul Bellow (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Him With His Foot in His Mouth (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Something to Remember Me By (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Collected Stories (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Novels 1944–1953 (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Novels 1956–1964 (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Novels 1970–1982 (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Novels 1984–2000 (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
There Is Simply Too Much to Think about (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Recent American Fiction (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Technology and the Frontiers of Knowledge (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
To Jerusalem and Back (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summations (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
It All Adds Up (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Conversations with Saul Bellow (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Letters (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Settling My Accounts Before I Go Away (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews(1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Granta 10(1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great Jewish Short Stories(1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Oxford Book of American Short Stories(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Good Parts(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wonderful Town(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Writers on Writing(2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Writers: Their Lives and Works(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Saul Bellow

A Canadian-born American novelist, Saul Bellow was an extremely well-regarded novelist during his lifetime. Entertaining the reader, it was his unique picaresque style that would draw in readers from around the world and continue to do so to this day. Publishing realistic stories, he would focus on character-driven plots, using humor and heart to give his book a strong, grounded center. Drawing inspiration from a whole range of different authors, his writing has been hugely influential over the years.

There were several themes that he would return to time and time again, examining subjects such as spiritual isolation and dissociation. Optimistic, too, he would seek to understand what a human awakening offered and how it could potentially heal and advance people. Taking inspiration from his home city of Chicago, too, he would take stories from his surrounding environment, putting it all back into his work. This approach would help him to create a unique voice that remains just as singular today as it ever was since he began writing.

The characters he creates are also well written, as they all feel wholly alive and real for the reader, with many of his protagonists becoming iconic themselves. Often writing about characters from the underclass, his protagonists seek to move up in the world, as they’re typically ambitious dreamers. Showing interest in what drove people, he was also a playwright, creating genuine and heartfelt interactions between each of his cast. His legacy remains to this very day, as his writing continues to inspire many readers and writers from around the world.

Early and Personal Life

Born in Lachine, Quebec, on the 10th of June in 1915, Solomon Bellows was raised there until he was nine when he and his family moved to Chicago. Growing up with three elder siblings, his parents were Lithuanian-Jewish, having emigrated from Saint Petersburg in Russia. Raised with a love of literature, he would read Shakespeare and many of the classic Russian novelists from the 19th century.

Later attending the University of Chicago, he would soon go on to transfer to Northwestern University, having studied literature and then anthropology and sociology. This study would come to influence his work in time, too, and, during the Second World War, he would serve as a merchant marine. Marrying five times, he would have children and would pass away in 2005 on the 5th of April in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Writing Career

It was in 1944 that Saul Bellows would publish his first novel, beginning his career with the book ‘Dangling Man.’ This book would be based on his time waiting to be drafted, with the central protagonist considering this, as he’s left waiting to go into service. After this, he’d go on to write a number of other novels, many of them dealing with modern civilization and themes surrounding its nature.

Over time his fiction has gone on to be regarded as some of the best American fiction of its era, with many contemporary writers citing him as one of the best. Winning numerous awards during his career, including a Pulitzer and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976, he’s not without his plaudits either. Adapted for the big screen, too, he’s seen his work reach far and wide as readers continue to discover his work every day.

The Adventures of Augie March

First brought out in 1953, this would be published on the 18th of September and would come out through the ‘Viking Press’ publishing imprint. A picaresque novel, the narrative is fairly loose, with an easy-to-follow story that’s more about character than it is about the plot. Winning a National Book Award for Fiction the following year of its release in 1954, it stands firm as one of the best English novels to date.

Brought up by their single mother, Augie and his siblings have no father, and Augie drifts from situation to situation. Whether it’s working for a slightly corrupt official or working in a coal-tip, he floats between employment as the story follows him to full and stable maturity. Similarly, with women, he also finds himself engaged to a number of different partners, and he’s continually encouraged back into education. Coming from a poorer family, he is seeking to discover himself, finding his true station in life finally once and for all.

It’s a well-written novel with a lot to say, as it subverts the traditional concept of the ‘American hero,’ giving them an altogether more grounded perspective. Looking for an identity, it’s no surprise that it is widely regarded as one of the great American novels, really resonating with readers. The character of Augie himself is very well established, staying with the reader long after the book is finished.

Seize the Day

This would originally come out in 1956 on the 15th of November, being a stand-alone title published through the ‘Viking’ label. Adapted into a TV movie in 1986 starring Robin Williams in the lead role, it’s one of his successful novels. Once again, it’s a character-driven piece, with a story and narrative that drifts, looking more at the personality of its central protagonist.

Taking place over just one day, Wilhelm Adler is living in a hotel as a failed actor in his forties. Unemployed and separated from his wife, he’s also estranged from his children too, living with a once-respected former doctor and an older man. Now he must put his life into perspective, looking at the events that have all led up to this point, landing him here. As he takes stock of everything, he must reckon with his own immaturity and finally accept who he is once and for all.

While not much may appear to happen on the surface, it’s everything that’s simmering just underneath that really makes this work. The central character of Adler is so well drawn it really puts the reader into his mindset, giving them a first-hand view of his world. Many of the themes and ideas are also well established too, as the protagonist must face up to where his life is going.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Saul Bellow

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