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“Seize the Day” book discussion held June 14 at Appalachian

BOONE—A discussion of Saul Bellow’s novel “Seize the Day” will be held Sunday, June 14, in room 421 Belk Library and Information Commons at Appalachian State University.

The discussion is part of the series Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story. For a copy of Bellow’s book, contact Megan Johnson at 828-262-2823 or

“Seize the Day,” published in 1956, is about one day in the life of Tommy Wilhelm, a middle-aged New Yorker who has lost his job, is separated from his wife and children and is living in the Hotel Glorianna.  Tommy spends much of the day with Dr. Tamkin, a sketchy “psychologist,” who gives Tommy absurd advice and invests the last of Tommy’s money in the commodities market. Tommy is caught in the predicaments of modern life, and the reader accompanies him through an emotional catharsis.

Bellow was born in Quebec, Canada, in 1915, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants.  Bellow worked for the Federal Writers’ Project early in his career. The FWP was a small section of President Franklin Roosevelt’s mammoth Works Progress Administration, designed to get America back to work after the Depression.

It was responsible for the American Guide Series of travel guides for every state and for interviews with former slaves and thousands of citizens all across the U.S. in the 1930s. Many writers from the project later became famous, among them Zora Neale Hurston, Studs Terkel and Eudora Welty. Bellow was the only writer who worked on the Federal Writers Project who later was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Soul of a People programs in libraries are sponsored by the American Library Association Public Programs Office with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.