Saul Bellow was "possibly at his most Jewish" in his letters, according to Jonathan Wilson.
Saul Bellow’s letters, the last reproduced in the newly-released Saul Bellow: Letters written in February 2004, a year before his death, already have an antique flavor. They are beautifully wrought dusty figures in the carpet before the avalanche of emails and tweets that await us. Which is not to say that the letters aren’t vital and combative, no punches pulled from beginning to end. He starts early on in adult life bashing Mary McCarthy, and at 83 he’s still got the balls to let Philip Roth know what’s wrong with I Married a Communist. But honesty for Bellow is almost always a measure of friendship. And if you dish it out you have to be ready to take it; and take it he does. Sadly, we can’t get his correspondents’ p.o.v., but we deduce from Bellow’s replies who’s swinging for him and who isn’t.