Corde is a Professor of Journalism and Dean of students at a Chicago university. His beautiful wife Minna is an internationally known astronomer. As the book opens the couple are in Eastern Europe. Minna had to migrated to America many years before, but now her mother has suffered a stroke and is lying semicouscious in the local State hospital. As Corde tries to help Minna grapple with an alien bureaucracy, to adapt to life in his mother-in-law's small apartment and to cope with her relations and family friends, news filters through to him of problems he has left behind in Chicago. One of his students has been murdered by black criminals; his cousin and his nephew line up against him and try to make him drop the case. A series of articles he is writing for a magazine offends powerful and influential Chicagoans he had thought of as friends. A childhood companion, now a television pundit, shows him unsuspected aspects of his own character. Gradually it becomes clear that Corde's trip abroad is more than a brief interlude in a calm and orderly life and that nothing for him will ever be the same again. To the familiar Bellow magic and mastery, The Dean's December adds a new sense of urgency, of topicality, and an almost thriller-like tension. The wit, the erudition, the unique and extraordinary use of language will be a delight to admirers of Herzog and Humboldt's Gift; but the framework in which they are displayed represents a completely new departure.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Albert Corde, dean of a Chicago college, is unprepared for the violent response to his expose of city corruption. Accused of betraying his city, as well as being a racist, he journeys to Bucharest, where his mother-in-law lies dying, only to find corruption rife in the Communist capital. Switching back and forth between the two cities, The Dean's December represents Bellow's "most spirited resistance to the forces of our time" (Malcolm Bradbury).From the Back Cover:
THE DEAN'S DECEMBER
by Saul Bellow, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1976
The Vesuvian eloquence of Saul Bellow is one of the glories of modern literature.
-Jonathan Raban Sunday Times
A novel that will raise its readers to fever pitch of the kind of passionate excitement and involvement that only real art can inspire.
-Salman Rushdie New Statesman
A wittily meditative book, an intensely serious enterprise from a writer we can see we are right to acknowledge as of world class.
-Malcolm Bradbury Books and Bookmen
A brilliant piece of work...different in many ways from much of his earlier work, it is one of his best.
-David Holloway Sunday Telegraph
There is in The Dean's December enough thought and matter for ten other contemporary novels.
-Melvyn Bragg Punch
A serious, sane, thought-provoking novel of a kind rare these days, a worthy addition to the canon of a writer of genius.
-Paul Bailey Standard
In Saul Bellow the American novelist has come of age.
-Geoffrey Moore Financial Times
An overall mastery of form...and at times a sublime intensity.
-Lewis Jones Spectator
Bellow has at last created a plausible and likeable woman and has done so with wonderful economy.
-Gabriel Josipovici Times Literary Supplement
The shape of Saul Bellow's new novel is satisfyingly simple.
-Ian McEwan Observer
Near the end of Saul Bellow's admirable new novel, the dean is accused of "abyssifying and catastrophising".
-Thomas Hinde Sunday Telegraph
By any standards, a marvellous novel, rich, provocative, illuminating...buy it and read it: more than once.
-Alan Massie Scotsman
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
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