Born in Lachine, Montreal, Canada on June 10, 1915 Saul Bellow was the fourth child of Abraham (Abram) and Lescha (Liza) Belo, Jewish immigrants from St. Petersburg, Russia who arrived in Canada in 1913. Lachine, a working class town on the outskirts of Montreal, was home to a huge melting pot of Ukrainians, Russians, Italians, Greeks, Hungarians and Poles. In 1918, the family moved to St. Dominique Street, Montreal, a slum neighborhood of poverty, rats, and colorful, mostly Jewish immigrants. Here, Liza enrolled Saul in Hebrew-class, hoping her brilliant son would become a Rabbi or a Talmudist, and by the age of four he had memorized large passages from the Old Testament. This bookishness, as well as his early acquaintance with death, permanently estranged him from his business-minded…

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Citation: Cronin, Gloria. "Saul Bellow". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 October 2003 [, accessed 29 May 2024.]

350 Saul Bellow 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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