To Jerusalem and Back: A Personal Account (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)

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9780141180755: To Jerusalem and Back: A Personal Account (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)

Nobel laureate Saul Bellow’s revealing interviews and meditations, steeped in history and literature, on the unique spirit and challenges of Israel

A powerful, stimulating testament, To Jerusalem and Back is a rigorous attempt to come to grips with Israel’s history and future. Immersing himself in the landscape and culture of this “small state in perpetual crisis,” Bellow records the opinions, passions, and dreams of Israelis of varying viewpoints—Yitzak Rabin, Amos Oz, the editor of the largest Arab-language newspaper in Israel, a kibbutznik escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto—and adds his own reflections on being Jewish in the twentieth century. Saul Bellow’s journey is not merely an exploration of a very beautiful and very troubled city; it is a major literary work, and an urgently important one.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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About the Author:

Saul Bellow was praised for his vision, his ear for detail, his humor, and the masterful artistry of his prose. Born of Russian Jewish parents in Lachine, Quebec in 1915, he was raised in Chicago. He received his Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in 1937, with honors in sociology and anthropology, and did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin. During the Second World War he served in the Merchant Marines.

His first two novels, Dangling Man (1944) and The Victim (1947) are penetrating, Kafka-like psychological studies. In 1948 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent two years in Paris and traveling in Europe, where he began his picaresque novel The Adventures of Augie March, which went on to win the National Book Award for fiction in 1954. His later books of fiction include Seize the Day (1956); Henderson the Rain King (1959); Mosby's Memoirs and Other Stories (1968); Mr. Sammler's Planet (1970); Humboldt's Gift (1975), which won the Pulitzer Prize; The Dean's December (1982); More Die of Heartbreak (1987); Theft (1988); The Bellarosa Connection (1989);The Actual (1996); Ravelstein (2000); and, most recently, Collected Stories(2001). Bellow has also produced a prolific amount of non-fiction, collected in To Jerusalem and Back, a personal and literary record of his sojourn in Israel during several months in 1975, and It All Adds Up, a collection of memoirs and essays.

Bellow's many awards include the International Literary Prize for Herzog, for which he became the first American to receive the prize; the Croix de Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, the highest literary distinction awarded by France to non-citizens; the B'nai B'rith Jewish Heritage Award for "excellence in Jewish Literature"; and America's Democratic Legacy Award of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, the first time this award has been made to a literary personage. In 1976 Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work."

Review:

“Bellow evokes places, ideas, people...on the edge of history, an inch from disaster, yet brimming with argument and words.... An impassioned and thoughtful book.” –The New York Times Book Review

“Essentially a plea for a greater understanding of the state of Israel by one of its most articulate admirers.” –The Times

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