A fiction writer, essayist, playwright, lecturer, and memoirist, Saul Bellow was born in Lachine, Quebec, in 1915, and was raised in Chicago. He received his Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in 1937 and did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin before serving in the Marines during World War II. Later, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict, Bellow served as a war correspondent for Newsday. Throughout his long and productive career, he contributed fiction to several magazines and quarterlies, including The New Yorker, Partisan Review, Playboy, and Esquire, as well as criticism to The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, The New Leader, and others. Universally recognized as one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century, Bellow has won more honors than almost any other American writer. Among these, he received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Humboldt's Gift and the B’nai B’rith Jewish Heritage Award for “excellence in Jewish literature.” He was the first American to win the International Literary Prize, and remains the only novelist in history to have received three National Book awards, for The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, and Mr. Sammler's Planet. In 1976, Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work.” Saul Bellow died in 2005 at age 89.
At sixteen, Robert Lomos has lost his family. His father, a Latin jazz musician, has left San Antonio for life on the road as a cool-hand playboy. His mother, shattered by a complete emotional and psychological breakdown, has moved to Los Angeles and taken Robert's little brother with her. Only his iron-willed grandmother, worn down by years of hard work, is left. But Robert's got a plan: Duck trouble, save his money, and head to California to put the family back together. Trouble is, no one believes a delinquent Mexican American kid has a chance—least of all, Robert himself.
Wrenching and wise, Drift by Manuel Luis Martinez gives an unflinching vision of the menace of adolescence, the hard edge of physical labor, and the debts we owe to family.
In Los Angeles, Leticia is quickly immersed in the post-punk, post-Queer hipster scene, and after a short-lived affair with the devastating Edith, Leticia meets K, a tall, dark and handsome Old Spice-wearing lovely from Philadelphia. K and Leticia tumble into "candy heaven" bliss, with, to Leticia's amazement, her nana's blessing. As her confidence in herself and her own sexuality grows, Leticia moves toward an identity that K refers to as "shy bookworm sweater femme boy"-- only to have her newfound happiness brutally shattered by Nana's sudden illness and by the disturbing discovery that K is not as trustworthy as she seems.
Vividly wrought, heart-breaking and compelling, Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties is a wonderful debut from Felicia Luna Lemus.