Love and Strife: A Celebration of Saul Bellow Life and Storytelling
Book Talk with Zachary Leader (Author, The Life of Saul Bellow: Love and Strife, 1965-2005) Interviewed by Marc Cohen (Author, Not Bad for Delancey Street: The Rise of Billy Rose)
How is history told in fiction? How is storytelling told in a biography? How can we make use of archival materials to tell a history that would represent peoples diverse memories of it? Join us for a conversation between Zachary Leader, the author of the Saul Bellow biography, volume 1 and 2, and Marc Cohen, the author of Not Bad for Delancey Street: The Rise of Billy Rose.
When this second volume of The Life of Saul Bellow opens, Bellow, at forty-nine, is at the pinnacle of American letters - rich, famous, critically acclaimed. The expected trajectory is one of decline: volume 1, rise; volume 2, fall. Bellow never fell, producing some of his greatest fiction (Mr Sammler's Planet, Humboldt's Gift, all his best stories), winning two more National Book Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Nobel Prize. At eighty, he wrote his last story; at eighty-five, he wrote Ravelstein. In this volume, his life away from the desk, including his love life, is if anything more dramatic than in volume 1. In the public sphere, he is embroiled in controversy over foreign affairs, race, religion, education, social policy, the state of culture, the fate of the novel.
Marc Cohens Not Bad for Delancey Street: The Rise of Billy Rose is the first biography in fifty years of the producer, Worlds Fair impresario, songwriter, nightclub and theater owner, syndicated columnist, art collector, tough guy, and philanthropist, and the first to tell the whole story of Roses life. He combined a love for his thrilling and lucrative American moment with sometimes grandiose plans to aid his fellow Jews. He was an exaggerated exemplar of the American Jewish experience that predominated after World War II: secular, intermarried, bent on financial success, in love with Israel, and wedded to America.
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