James Atlas

James Atlas has written a biography of Saul Bellow, among other books.

Richard Poirier is free to attack my biography of Saul Bellow for as many words as he feels it takes, but your readers might want to know the following. On page 330 of my biography, I refer to Bellow’s annoyance over Poirier’s hostile review of Herzog and wonder if there might have been some element of Poirier himself in Herzog’s tireless theorising – some wish to satirise the academic mind....

Towards the Transhuman

James Atlas, 2 February 1984

In the face of a worldwide recession, the literature industry proceeds apace. While the market for trade books grows more enfeebled, academic publishers show no sign of cutting back on their recondite lists. Despite the dwindling number of jobs in universities (and why else are some of these books written except to secure or keep a job?), scholars continue to turn out the daunting titles advertised in literary magazines: Milton and the Postmodern, Allen Tate and the Augustinian Imagination, Myths and Texts: Strategies of Incorporation and Displacement. The one question rarely addressed is: who reads these books and what purpose do they serve?

This is the first comprehensive biography of Saul Bellow and the first to receive his co-operation over the complete, ten-year span of its writing. The author, James Atlas, whose biography of...

Read more reviews

Poets and Pretenders

John Sutherland, 2 April 1987

James Atlas’s The Great Pretender is a first novel. But Atlas has some prior fame as the author of a powerful biography of Delmore Schwartz, America’s poète maudit who died...

Read more reviews

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences