Adam Ash

Your daily entertainment scout. Whatever is happening out there, you'll find the best writing about it in here.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Bookplanet: it took Bellow 20 years

Have faith, you writers. It took Saul Bellow 20 years to be financially secure. From the NY Times:
"BELLOW'S BREAKTHROUGH: Saul Bellow, who died earlier this month at 89, won the Nobel Prize, three National Book Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, yet he was no stranger to the Times best-seller list. For a stretch of almost 30 years -- from the publication of Henderson the Rain King in 1959 through the release of More Die of Heartbreak in 1987 -- nearly everything Bellow wrote appeared for two months or so on the hardcover fiction or nonfiction list. It took the public time to pick up on Bellow's busy, rueful, comic charms. None of his first four novels--Dangling Man (1944), The Victim (1947), The Adventures of Augie March (1953) or Seize the Day (1956)--made this page. Bellow's real breakthrough came in 1964 with Herzog, a novel about a failed academic whose wife leaves him for his best friend. The book was praised on the cover of the Book Review and held on at No. 1 for more than seven months. (The book it bumped out of the top slot: John le Carre's Spy Who Came In From the Cold.) Twenty years after the publication of his first novel, Bellow was financially secure. In his biography of Bellow, James Atlas writes that female readers were particularly taken with Herzog, and with its dashing author. Women would write to him, Bellow said in a television interview, 'to ask me how they should behave with intellectuals, for recipes of dishes mentioned in the book. They make me feel like an editor of Vogue.'"
Women read books many more than men. I wonder why. Are they intellectually more curious?


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