Bellow Was So Jewish He Could Travel Any Distance Without Risking That Allegiance

His reputation will fall and rise with his people’s.

Saul Bellow in 1989. Kevin Horan/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images.

Saul Bellow in 1989. Kevin Horan/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images.

Last Word
Oct. 28 2019
About the author

Ruth R. Wisse is a research professor at Harvard and a distinguished senior fellow at the Tikvah Fund. Her most recent book is No Joke: Making Jewish Humor (2013, paperback 2015).


It was well worth my tracing of Saul Bellow’s entry into Anglo-American literature if only to elicit responses from Hillel Halkin and Adam Kirsch—keenest of readers, most learned of authors, and finest of critics.

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More about: American Jewish literature, Arts & Culture, Saul Bellow