Maybe I read him when I wasn’t ready to appreciate him. Still the death of Saul Bellow at the age of 89 marks the passing of a literary giant. Three other American writers have won the Nobel after he won in 1976 — Isaac Bashevis Singer in 1978 (only two years later!), Joseph Brodsky in 1987 and Toni Morrison in 1993. Only Morrison is as widely read as Bellow was in his day, though she too is not my kind of a writer.
Singer, though much admired, is too niche a writer. As for Brodsky, I have not read any of his poems or plays.
I am not inclined to pick up Singer again after what little I have read.
But Bellow I should have read more. Henderson the Rain King and Herzog are his only two novels I have read. I went through them when I was deep in Graham Greene, Lawrence Durrell and other English writers. An altogether different cup of tea.
PS: Bellow was no minimalist either in his writing or in his private life. He had a daughter by his fifth wife when he was 84!
Abhijit loves reading, writing and getting news and information online.