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Saul Bellow, a fine literary fellow

The acclaimed author was honored at a local stamp ceremony in his adopted hometown, Chicago

A group of women remove a cloth cover from a poster displaying an image of the Saul Bellow postage stamp
Regina Aikens, at right, the customer relations manager for Illinois 1 District, unveils the Saul Bellow stamp.

The Postal Service’s latest Literary Arts stamp was dedicated during a special local ceremony at the University of Chicago on Feb. 6.

The 34th stamp in the series honors novelist Saul Bellow, widely regarded as one of the greatest authors of the 20th century.

He is the only person to have won the National Book Award for fiction three times. He received many literary accolades before his death in 2005, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in literature.

“Saul Bellow took on large themes in his novels, including the pressures of material culture, the role of the artist in society and the nature of American identity,” said Regina Aikens, customer relations manager for Illinois 1 District, who spoke at the ceremony at the school’s Hyde Park campus.

Bellow attended the university and later taught there.

Speakers also included Torsten Reimer, dean of the university’s library; Gabriel Richardson Lear, a professor of philosophy at the university; David Wellbery, a professor of Germanic studies at the university; and Sean Hargadon, a USPS strategic communications specialist.

The stamp art features a pen, ink and watercolor portrait of Bellow, and the iconic “L” train of his adopted hometown of Chicago.

Illustrator Joe Ciardiello provided the original art, based on photographs from 1982. The stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler, an art director for USPS.

The 3-ounce stamp is available at Post Offices and at usps.com.