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By Saul Bellows

"I hungrily learn the e-book via in 3 nights, as if I'd stumbled upon a misplaced Bellow masterpiece only in the near past unearthed."
-Philip Roth

A literary milestone in its personal correct, this feature of correspondence connects us as by no means prior to to 1 of the best writers of our time. Saul Bellow used to be winner of the Pulitzer Prize, 3 nationwide booklet Awards, and the Nobel Prize in Literature. He additionally wrote marvelously acute, unsparing, smooth, ferocious, hilarious, and clever letters all through his lengthy lifestyles (1915-2005). together with letters to William Faulkner, John Cheever, Ralph Ellison, Cynthia Ozick, Martin Amis, and so forth, this immense self-portrait-shows the affects at paintings in a seminal literary brain.

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Dad told us we were having something special for dessert—a flaming ice-cream cake. The waiter wheeled out a tray with the cake on it, and the woman with the gloves lit it with a taper. Everyone stopped eating to watch. The flames had a slow, watery movement, rolling up into the air like ribbons. Everyone started clapping, and Dad jumped up and raised the waiter’s hand above his head as if he’d won first prize. A few days later, Mom and Dad went off to the blackjack table and then almost immediately came looking for us.

Then Grandma would make a snide comment about Dad being shiftless. Dad would say something about selfish old crones with more money than they knew what to do with, and soon enough they’d be face-to-face in what amounted to a full-fledged cussing contest. ” Grandma would scream. ” Dad would shout back. ” Dad had the more inventive vocabulary, but Grandma Smith could outshout him; plus, she had the home-court advantage. A time would come when Dad had had enough and he’d tell us kids to get in the car.

Mom, however, told us that the FBI wasn’t really after Dad; he just liked to say they were because it was more fun having the FBI on your tail than bill collectors. We moved around like nomads. We lived in dusty little mining towns in Nevada, Arizona, and California. They were usually nothing but a tiny cluster of sad, sunken shacks, a gas station, a dry-goods store, and a bar or two. They had names like Needles and Bouse, Pie, Goffs, and Why, and they were near places like the Superstition Mountains, the dried-up Soda Lake, and the Old Woman Mountain.

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