Author(s): Saul Bellow
'We were friends, somehow. But in the end, somehow, he intended to be a mortal enemy. All the while that he was making the gestures of a close and precious friend he was fattening my soul in a coop till it was ready for killing.' Vital, exuberant, streetwise and philosophizing, Nobel Prize winner Saul Bellow is one of the undisputed masters of American prose. In this inspired novella an ageing man writes an apology for his rudeness to a librarian thirty-five years earlier, unleashing a dazzling, rancorous comic riff on growing old, regret, rudeness, smoking and 'the world's grandeur'.
Saul Bellow was born in Canada in 1915 and grew up in Chicago. He attended Chicago, Northwestern and Wisconsin universities and had a BSc in Anthropology. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976, the first American to win the prize since John Steinbeck in 1962. Saul Bellow's books, many of which are published by Penguin, include Dangling Man (1944); The Adventures of Augie March (1953) which, like Herzog (1964) and Mr Sammler's Planet (1970), won the National Book Award; Henderson the Rain King (1959); Humboldt's Gift (1975), which won the Pulitzer Prize; To Jerusalem and Back (1976), his first non-fiction work, and More Die of Heartbreak (1987), amongst many others. Saul Bellow died in 2005.