Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: 

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction

Born: June 10, 1915 in Lachine, Quebec, Canada

Illinois Connection

Saul Bellow was 9 years old when his family moved from Canada to Chicago. He continued to live in Chicago until his death. He was a long-time faculty member at the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Saul Bellow is the dean of contemporary Illinois writers and one of the major 20th century American writers. He was the first novelist to win three National Book Awards. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1975 for ''Humboldt's Gift'', and the Nobel Prize for literature in 1976. Bellow was a novelist, short story writer, essayist, dramatist, editor and translator. A long-time faculty member at the University of Chicago, his novels combine a serious concern for ideas with a keen, often comic, mastery of the details of contemporary American life, including street life. Among his novels set either wholly or partially in Chicago are: ''Dangling Man'' (1944), ''The Adventure of Augie March'' (1953), ''Herzog'' (1964), ''Humboldt's Gift'' (1975), ''The Dean's December'' (1982), and ''The Actual'' (1997).

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- '''''The Adventures of Augie March''''' -- *National Book Award Winner in Fiction, 1954


-- '''''Herzog''''' -- *National Book Award in Fiction, 1965

-- *International Literary Prize, 1965 - Bellow was the first American to receive the prize.


-- '''''Mr. Sammler's Planet''''' -- *National Book Award Winner in Fiction, 1971


-- '''Other Awards and Honors''' -- *Nobel Prize for Literature, 1976

-- *Croix de Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by Republic of France (the highest literary distinction awarded by that nation to non-citizens), 1968

-- *B'nai B'rith Jewish Heritage Award for Excellence in Jewish Literature, 1968

-- *America's Democratic Legacy Award of the Anti-Defamation League by B'nai B'rith, 1976 (the first time this award has been made to a literary personage)

-- *Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990

-- *Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2010