"Unfortunately, the longest piece here—the novella-length 'What Kind of Day Did You Have?'—is the least successful: the affair between a youngish divorcee and a famous old art critic becomes an uneasy frame for wrestlings with Marxism, celebrity, and intellectual hucksterism. But much of this welcome gathering presents the restless Bellow voice in full cry—taut, colorful, Talmudic, and large-hearted.?"
Family fiction and the fiction-of-ideas: these are the two competing concerns in Bellow's recent work—with the combination at its most problematic in his last novel, The Dean's December.
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