April 19, 2015
“Vanity Fair” – May 2015 – Martin Amis reviewed the new biography, volume 1, of Saul Bellow written by Zachary Leader.
Saul Bellow said that his father Abraham’s eyes were capable of twinkling; far more typically, though, they blazed and seeped with frustration and rage. A versatile business flop, he struggled as a farmer, a wholesaler, a marriage broker, a junk dealer, and a bootlegger. “His talent,” Saul would later write, “was for failure.” Abraham eventually thrived (peddling fuel to bakeries), but he got angrier as he aged and had fistfights in the street well into his 60’s.
I compare Abraham with Sanya Voronov in my first novel THE PROVIDER. Sanya is a failed businessman but a Man of Good Heart.
One reader of THE PROVIDER said to me, “Rosa should have left him after the second business failure.” I responded, “You missed the book.”