In this collection of more than thirty essays, published in The New York Times, Esquire and The New Republic, the vast range of Saul Bellow’s nonfiction is made abundantly clear. In Bellow’s capable hands, a single essay can range fluidly across topics as various as the talents of President Roosevelt, the economic narrative of Jay Gatsby, and childhood adventures in Chicago. In this rich mix of literary, political, and personal musings, Bellow is able to explore subjects as enormous as the writer’s search for truth, and as minute as the discomforts of a French doctors’ office. Traveling from Washington to Spain to the Sinai Peninsula, and profiling friends and characters such as John Cheever and John Berryman, Bellow is keenly focused and perceptive. These pages, spanning a lifetime of thought and debate, present provocative arguments and erudite literary criticism, all with the wry humor of a great storyteller. In It All Adds Up, Bellow turns his view away from the sparkling characters of his novels, and towards the conditions and qualities of his own experience of writing and living.
Fans of Nobel Prize-winning author Bellow should enjoy this wide-ranging selection of more than 30 nonfiction pieces--lectures and articles reprinted from Esquire , the New Republic , the New York Times , etc. Bellow's roving and astute eye produces memorable reportage, such as a portrait of a retired Chicago con man and other Windy City scenes, and his view of the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. He also offers neat sketches of colleagues like Allan Bloom, John Berryman and John Cheever. But the meat of the book is Bellow's tart, sometimes dyspeptic cultural commentary, exemplified by his Nobel Lecture criticizing writers for failing to challenge orthodoxies, and his laments at the useless distractions of the Information Revolution and the intellectual frivolities of bohemian New York City. Invoking Tolstoy, Nabokov and Flaubert, among others, Bellow muses on the novelist's responsibilities and, in three lively interviews, offers illuminating autobiographical reflections on reading, writing, teaching and life (``I've had more metamorphoses than I can count''). 50,000 first printing; $40,000 ad/promo.