Lescha (Liza Lilian) Bellow (Gordin) (c.1886 - 1932)

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Birthplace: Dvinsk, Daugavpils, Daugavpils municipality, Latvia
Death: Died in Chicago, IL, USA
Managed by: Philip Belkin
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Immediate Family

About Lescha (Liza Lilian) Bellow (Gordin)

1930 census: Her husband's Name: Abraham Bellow Gender: Male Birth Year: abt 1882 Birthplace: Russia Race: White Home in 1930: Chicago, Cook, Illinois View Map Marital Status: Married Immigration Year: 1913 Relation to Head of House: Head Spouse's Name: She is here as Lillian Bellow Father's Birthplace: Russia Mother's Birthplace: Russia

Household Members: Name Age Abraham Bellow 48 Lillian Bellow 46 Jane Bellow 22 Morris Bellow 21 Sam Bellow 19 [21] Sal Bellow 14 Norman Bellow 6 ----------------------------- ....immigrants from St. Petersburg, Russia, and had traveled to Canada in 1913. Bellow's father had imported Turkish figs and Egyptian onions while in Russia, but life proved to be very difficult in Canada. Thus, Bellow's father resorted to bootlegging and other activities. The small family lived in the most impoverished section of the city of Montreal with other immigrant families from Poland, Greece, Italy, and Russia. In 1924, Bellow's father was beaten almost to death because of his dealings with nefarious, questionable people. Thus, the family decided to leave Montreal and move to America. They moved south, settling in an equally impoverished region in the Chicago slums. Bellow, already nine years old, began school for the first time. His childhood, far from innocent and serene, provided him with many of the ideas would become backdrops to many of his novels. A lot of Bellow's education took place at home. His mother, Lescha (Liza) was adamant that Bellow learn Hebrew and Yiddish, as well as English. She was very religious and the first book Saul remembers reading was the Bible. His desire to read was further developed when he faced many different illnesses that kept him indoors. After one particular bout with sickness, Bellow decided that once he recovered, he would work harder at not becoming sick again. Although he was bookish by nature, he worked hard at his physical fitness and lived for optimum health. Along with the Bible, he loved other religious texts and they comforted him during many hard times. When Bellow's mother died suddenly, he was emotionally distraught for many months. Liza Bellow died when Saul was only 17, and about this event he said, "My life was never the same after my mother died." In 1933, Saul Bellow entered the University of Chicago. One of his fellow classmates, John Podhoretz, said that Bellow and his good friend, Allan Bloom, "inhaled books and ideas the way the rest of us breathe air." Early on in his studies at Chicago, he decided to transfer to Northwestern University and began studying anthropology and sociology. Although his emphasis was not Literature, Bellow took many writing and English classes. While at Northwestern, the English-department chairman told Bellow that "No Jew could really grasp the tradition of English literature," and suggested he not waste his time. Many, including the famous Professor Melville J. Herskovits, encouraged Bellow to become a concert pianist. Later Bellow would say that his Jewish heritage was "a gift, a piece of good fortune with which one does not quarrel," but he also insisted that he was not a "Jewish" writer, rather an American writer who happened to be a Jew.

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Lescha (Liza Lilian) Bellow's Timeline

1886
1886
Daugavpils, Daugavpils municipality, Latvia
1905
1905
Age 19
1906
1906
Age 20
1911
1911
Age 25
1915
June 10, 1915
Age 29
Lachine, QC, Canada
1932
1932
Age 46
Chicago, IL, USA
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