Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Henderson The Rain King by Saul Bellow

First edition published in 1959 by Viking Press
Saul Bellow's fifth novel is about a rich, waspish, middle-aged white man who becomes restless with all that he has and sets out to Africa to "find" himself. All sorts of adventures obviously ensue and Henderson finds himself entrenched in the native life of the Arnewi, where he befriends the leaders of the tribe and eventually matures to some degree. I read somewhere once that Bellow thought of Henderson the Rain King as his favorite of his own books (it is my favorite as well), and, ironically, is the only one of his novels without a Jewish protagonist. This first edition cover features a beautiful African "jacket painting" by Bill Preston, and pictured below is Bellow's signature.

Saul Bellow's signature on the front endpaper

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