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Letters (2010)

by Saul Bellow(Favorite Author)
4.09 of 5 Votes: 2
0670022217 (ISBN13: 9780670022212)
Viking Adult
review 1: This was very interesting to read right after finishing his early novel, The Victim. He describes the process of trying to get the book into bookstores, which proves difficult. This was a time long before his reputation was so renowned, and there is something very touching about the vulnerability and uncertainty he shares with his friends in so many letters. There are stacks and stacks of letters to his friends. They are emotionally generous, honest, and often very funny. So much energy and love comes through in his writing. I thought it was really interesting to read these letters he wrote to friends where he discusses his reviews, kind of wrestles with them, he defends himself, because if he doesn't, who will? He has to have a huge ego to succeed. And he is blessed wit... moreh a strong personality, and endowed with a tremendous heart. I loved reading his open declarations of love and affection for so many of his friends, especially male friends, which I found quite moving in places. I only read the first section of this massive trove of correspondence. This will be something I read in many pieces over time.
review 2: The attraction of literary letters is what's passed between writers. They're mines of information about individual craft and a writer's works. Saul Bellow wrote relatively few such letters. Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, and Martin Amis are among the handful of fellow authors Bellow wrote, meaning that by far most of these letters are to friends, family, and other acquaintances who don't share a literary life with him. That's the main reason this book is less compelling than I'd expected. Some of the letters to acquaintances who aren't writers are interesting in their own right. And some are less so. Compounding that, those nonliterary letters suffer from a lack of adequate notes on who the recipients are and the circumstances of the relationship with Bellow. Love letters, however, are always interesting. There are a few of those. less
Reviews (see all)
Wonderful material! Leads us back to the novels and stories.
ebook [Saul_Bellow]_Saul_Bellow_Letters epub (BookFi.org)
recommended by "you must read this!" on NPR Mar 2011
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