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The Socialist

Friends and Politics, Part 2: Irving Howe. The prominent critic and I worked on Yiddish translations together, but a dispute over Israel and its Arab neighbors ruptured our relationship—until we reconnected over literature.

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The Novelist

Friends and Politics, Part 1: Saul Bellow. The Nobel Prize-winner and I shared a love of literature and of Yiddish, but our friendship was tested by decades-long disagreements over politics.

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Bellow Is For Reading Out Loud

O’Neill, Shteyngart, Prose, and others honor the author

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Today on Tablet

A Bellow twofer, Soviet Jews, and more

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Paper Mate

Janis Bellow reflects on her late husband’s letter-writing habits, his feelings about his legacy, and what it was like to read over his old love letters

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Pen Pal

In his letters, Saul Bellow was thoughtful, eloquent, feisty—and quite possibly at his most Jewish

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All Turned Around

The hero of I.B. Singer’s newly reissued The Magician of Lublin is torn between bohemia and bourgeois respectability, Jews and Gentiles

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Imaginative Assault

An excerpt from a new history of Commentary shows how the fiction published in the magazine’s early years shook not just the world of Jewish literature but the very foundations of American letters

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Sincerely Saul Bellow

A thrilling cache of the late writer’s letters

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Heirs to the Throne

In a new book, Robert Alter examines the debt American literature owes to the King James Bible

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Flight of Fancy

In The Escape, Adam Thirlwell grapples with Jewishness, carnality, and the essence of fiction

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‘Greenberg’ Gets Raves

With Ben Stiller as the shlemiel

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Today on Tablet

In the Glass family apartment, Jewish pork, Davos Shabbos, and more

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Portnoy’s Complaint, Zooey’s Remedy

Salinger may have predated Roth, but he was also a step ahead

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Seize the Pen

In his essays on the writing life, Michael Greenberg emerges as figure out of Bellow

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British Novel About Aging Lithuanian-Born Jew

Adam Thirlwell’s latest gets mixed reaction

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Guilt By Association

A novelist reflects on what it means to be a Jewish writer

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Man Gone Down

The rise and fall of Isaac Rosenfeld, Saul Bellow’s great rival

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Restoration Project

Where have all Bernard Malamud’s readers gone?

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Master of the Orgasm

A fresh look at the laughingstock of psychoanalysis

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‘Strangely Independent of Place’

Augie March, who turns 50 this year, starts his journey in Chicago. Bellow avoided it altogether while creating this legendary character, but no matter where he went, the city dominated his imagination.

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‘Blessed With This Sense of the Exotic’

Since the American language was available to everyone, Bellow and his Jewish peers were determined to “use it with a certain spirit.”