Saul Bellow


Saul Bellow

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Saul Bellow
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1976

Born: 10 June 1915, Montreal, Canada

Died: 5 April 2005, Brookline, MA, USA

Residence at the time of the award: USA

Prize motivation: “for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work”

Language: English

Prize share: 1/1


Saul Bellow was born in a suburb of Montreal, Canada, but grew up in the United States in Chicago. He graduated with a degree in anthropology and sociology in 1937. During World War II he was a soldier in the Marines while writing his first novel. In 1948 he received a scholarship that allowed him to move to Paris, where he began the novel The Adventures of Augie March (1953), his literary breakthrough. Bellow taught at several American universities, including Yale and Princeton.


Saul Bellow worked as a writer and literary critic. He made his debut with the novel Dangling Man in 1944, but his big breakthrough came nine years later with The Adventures of Augie March. The novels Herzog (1964) and Humboldt’s Gift (1975) became major commercial successes. Bellow is considered one of the innovators of the American novel. He based his books on people in their environment. Every now and then, Chicago served as a backdrop for Bellow’s stories.

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