This second volume of Zachary Leader's superb biography opens with Saul Bellow, at the age of 49, reaching the pinnacle of acclaim in American letters. The expected trajectory is one of decline—volume 1, rise; volume 2, fall—but Bellow never fell, instead producing some of his greatest fiction and winning two more National Book Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Nobel Prize. At 85, he wrote Ravelstein and also fathered his fourth child by his fifth wife. Leader illuminates Bellow's successes, his wide ranging influence, his complex and controversial stances on issues like sexual liberation and Black Power, and his often turbulent family life.
"A superb biography … quietly provocative … [and] brilliantly calibrated to explore Bellow's own central theme as a novelist."—NYTBR