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Bellow and Biography: A Talk by Zachary Leader

Zachary Leader is a professor of English Literature at University of Roehampton. His major research interests are the English Romantic Period, post-war British writing, contemporary American fiction and theories of writing, editing and revision. He is the author of Reading Blake’s Songs, Writer’s Block, Revision and Romantic Authorship, and The Life of Kingsley Amis, a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Biography. Leader is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Professor Leader’s talk is drawn from the Introduction of the first volume of his two-volume biography of Saul Bellow, The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune, 1915-1964 (May 2015). Saul Bellow was one of the most acclaimed novelists in America, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, National Book Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize. Bellow’s attitudes toward biography and biographers were complex and help us to understand his sense of the nature and unique power of fiction; they also make clear his relative weighting of life and art, what Yeats called the writer’s “choice.”



Wednesday, May 13, 2015. 05:15 PM


Terrace Room, Margaret Jacks Hall-building 460


Humanities Center, Department of English