“Bellow’s nonfiction has the same strengths as his stories and novels: a dynamic responsiveness to character, place, and time (or era) . . . And you wonder—what other highbrow writer, or indeed lowbrow writer has such a reflexive grasp of the street, the machine, the law courts, the rackets?” —Martin Amis, The New York Times Book Review
One of the supreme fiction writers of the twentieth century, Nobel laureate Saul Bellow was also deeply insightful in his lesser-known roles as essayist, critic, and lecturer. Gathered together in this stunning compilation, Bellow’s vast range of nonfiction reveals the same wit, daring, and wisdom that distinguish The Adventures of Augie March, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog, Humboldt’s Gift, and other masterly novels. In There Is Simply Too Much to Think About, as in the novels, the twentieth century comes fiercely to life through Bellow’s unrivaled human understanding and singular style.
Benjamin Taylor, editor of the acclaimed Saul Bellow: Letters, joins Bellow’s better-known essays to previously uncollected works selected from his criticism, interviews, speeches, and other reflections. Featuring Bellow’s commentary on such fellow writers as Ralph Ellison, Philip Roth, and J. D. Salinger, a remembrance of Franklin D. Roosevelt, dispatches from Paris, Spain, and Israel, and indelible portraits of his hometown, Chicago, this collection brings together writing from every phase of his career. There Is Simply Too Much to Think About is a guided tour of the twentieth century—what we did, suffered, survived—conducted by one of modern life’s most inspiring minds.