Hyde Park has a prominent place in Bellow's fiction, especially in Ravelstein (2000), but the book also has a few poignant descriptions of Paris, including the Hotel Crillon. On page 171 of the novel, one reads:
"There is a Jewish free thinker's saying about Paris—wie Gott in Frankreich. Meaning that even God took his holidays in France. Why? Because the French are atheists and among them God himself could be carefree, a flâneur, like any tourist."
After Bellow's death, one of his friends on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Richard Stern, made a request in 2007 that a street in Hyde Park be named after Bellow. Alderman Toni Preckwinkle of the 4th ward made a negative reply to the request, indicating that she considered some of his comments to be racist. People who knew him well do not consider him thus, and Bellow wrote an Op-Ed piece for the New York Times in his own defense following a controversial 1988 interview in the New York Times Magazine. Studs Terkel said he wouldn't call him a racist, but did feel "he was a bit more scared of black-skinned people than he should have been."
Azam Ahmed and Ron Grossman, "Chicago Denies Petition to Honor Saul Bellow" from PopMatters and Chicago Tribune (October 5, 2007).
Saul Bellow was featured on the cover of Transfuges 7 (May 2005) and the magazine included interviews with Bellow and articles by Myriam Anissimov, Norman Mailer, Anthony Burgess, and Cynthia Ozick (all in French).