Explore Nobel Prize winners impact on American literature in “The Adventures of Saul Bellow” on AMERICAN MASTERS – Dec. 12 at 8 pm

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American Masters Presents Broadcast Premiere of The Adventures of Saul Bellow December 12 on PBS

American Masters: The Adventures of Saul Bellow premieres nationwide Monday, December 12 at 8 p.m. on PBS, and the PBS Video App.


Saul Bellow, circa 1940 leaning on wall
Saul Bellow, circa 1940.

Explore the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner’s impact on American literature in the first-ever major documentary on the writer. American Masters: The Adventures of Saul Bellow illuminates how Bellow transformed modern literature and navigated through the issues of his time, including race, gender and the Jewish immigrant experience, through rare archival footage and interviews with Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie and many others.

The film traces Bellow’s rise to eminence and examines his many identities: reluctant public intellectual, “serial husband,” father, Chicagoan and Jewish American. It also sheds light on his willingness to confront social issues, his criticisms of American society and materialism and his provocative political view.



Martin Amis, novelist

James Atlas, biographer

Adam Bellow, son of Alexandra Tschacbasov and Saul Bellow

Alexandra Bellow, professor of mathematics and ex-wife of Saul Bellow.

Daniel Bellow, son of Susan Glassman and Saul Bellow

Gregory Bellow, son of Anita Goshkin and Saul Bellow

Joel Bellow, nephew of Saul Bellow

Saul Bellow, 1971, leaning on his hand
Saul Bellow, 1971.

Stanley Crouch, culture critic and novelist

Janis Freedman-Bellow, literary scholar and widow of Saul Bellow

Charles Johnson, novelist

Vivian Gornick, author and literary critic

Philip Grew, activist and former student of University of Chicago

Zachary Leader, professor of literature and biographer

Katie Roiphe, author and professor or journalism

Philip Roth, novelist

Salman Rushdie, novelist

Margaret Staats Simmons, journalist

Leon Wieseltier, literary critic

Hana Wirth-Nesher, professor of literature

Ruth Wisse, professor of literature