The Dean's December is a 1982 novel by the American author Saul Bellow.
|Publisher||Harper & Row|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Preceded by||Humboldt's Gift|
|Followed by||More Die of Heartbreak|
The first novel Bellow published after winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976, it is set in Chicago and Bucharest.
The book's main character, Albert Corde, a meditative academic who faces a crisis, accompanies his Romanian-born astrophysicist wife to her Communist-ruled native country, where they deal with the death of his mother-in-law. This sojourn allows Corde to observe the workings of a totalitarian regime in particular and the Eastern Bloc in general, a perspective which provides him with insight into the human condition.
In the New York Times Book Review, critic Robert Towers concluded, “The Dean's December confirms me in the opinion I have held since, nearly 30 years ago, I read The Adventures of Augie March (having, as an impecunious instructor, paid out hard cash for my hardcover copy just off the press): Sentence by sentence, page by page, Saul Bellow is simply the best writer that we have.”
- ^ Robert Tower, “ A Novel of Politics, Wit and Sorrow,” The New York Times Book Review, January 10, 1982.