A well-promoted novelist in this instance picked the wrong week to move on!
I've given my opinion of Bellow's work before on this thread. I respect him as a novelist, a good one. He certainly, though, didn't live up to the hype that was laid on him. (His best work was a novella-- most of his novels tended to get bogged down in cut-rate solipsistic philosophizing.)
It's a sign of the decaying position of American letters that a merely competent author has ruled for so long as our chief novelist, according to critics-- though his creative growth and imagination became stagnant over forty years ago.
The literary establishment has begun dying off. Sontag; Bellow. Who's next? (Is Updike still alive? Has anyone recently checked?)
Who will replace these cardboard titans? Jonathan Franzen? Graph the lit-establishment and it seems to be on a steep course downward.