The great novel of the American dream, of “the universal eligibility to be noble,” Saul Bellow’s third book charts the picaresque journey of one schemer, chancer, romantic, and holy fool: Augie March. Awarded the National Book Award in 1953, The Adventures of Augie March remains one of the classics of American literature. An impulsively active, irresistibly charming and resolutely free-spirited man, Augie March leaves his family of poor Jewish immigrants behind and sets off in search of reality, fulfillment, and most importantly, love. During his exultant quest, he latches on to a series of dubious schemes – from stealing books and smuggling immigrants to training a temperamental eagle to hunt lizards – and strong-minded women – from the fiery, eagle-owning Thea Fenchel, to the sneaky and alluring Stella. As Augie travels from the depths of poverty to the peaks of worldly success, he stands as an irresistible, poignant incarnation of the American idea of freedom. Written in the cascades of brilliant, biting, ravishing prose that would come to be known as “Bellovian,” The Adventures of Augie March re-wrote the language of Saul Bellow’s generation.
Winner of the 1954 National Book Award