Literature of Chicago #6: Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March (1953)

Douglas Cowie (Performer), Riley Moore (Performer)

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"I am an American, Chicago born—-Chicago, that somber city-—and go at things as I have taught myself, freestyle, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent." -The opening lines of The Adventures of Augie March (1953)

In this episode celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month, Douglas Cowie and Riley Moore (Royal Holloway, U. of London) discuss The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow, the most decorated American author, who won three National Book Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, as well as the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976.

Bellow was a 'dreamer,' for he was a Jewish immigrant who entered the United States illegally with his parents as a chid. The Bellows settled in Chicago where Saul was raised. As an undocumented migrant, he could not enlist in the army during World War II despite his desire to join the war effort, and this disappointment influenced much of his writing.

In this show, our expert guests discuss the connections between Bellow's life and the life of Augie March as well as the unique authorial style of Bellow. They also assess the claim that Augie March is the Great American Novel.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGermany
PublisherAmerikazentrum Hamburg
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2024


  • Saul Bellow
  • The Adventures of Augie March
  • Chicago Literature
  • American Literature

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