Philip Roth's writing career spans a remarkable five decades, a period that has seen him rise to become one of the greatest chroniclers of post-war American life. Collected here are some of the finest interviews, essays and articles discussing his own fiction and the range of controversies that it sparked, including his long interview with the Paris Review. Here too are Roth's writings on American fiction, Milan Kundera, baseball, and his deep admiration for Franz Kafka. Coursing through each of these pieces is the Sheer Playfulness and Deadly Seriousness that have defined Roth's writing for half a century.
Philip Roth's writing career spans a remarkable five decades, a period that has seen him rise to become one of the greatest chroniclers of post-war American life.
Awfully good * New York Times *Irresistibly articulate * Financial Times *He is utterly and intensely American, a voice, perhaps the voice, of the last decades of what was billed as "the American century" * Wall Street Journal *Excellent...Roth's sensitivity to the balance of situations in his own fiction is Jamesian in its subtlety...consistently thoughtful and thoroughly engaging * Washington Post *An illuminating glimpse of the theory and practice that have made Roth a major figure in American fiction... Reveals a first-rate mind * Chicago Daily News *
A fascinating glimpse into the mind of one of America's greatest living writers.
Philip Roth was born in Newark, New Jersey on 19 March 1933. The second child of second-generation Americans, Bess and Herman Roth, Roth grew up in the largely Jewish community of Weequahic, a neighbourhood he was to return to time and again in his writing. After graduating from Weequahic High School in 1950, he attended Bucknell University, Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago, where he received a scholarship to complete his M.A. in English Literature.In 1959, Roth published Goodbye, Columbus - a collection of stories, and a novella - for which he received the National Book Award. Ten years later, the publication of his fourth novel, Portnoy's Complaint, brought Roth both critical and commercial success, firmly securing his reputation as one of America's finest young writers. Roth was the author of thirty-one books, including those that were to follow the fortunes of Nathan Zuckerman, and a fictional narrator named Philip Roth, through which he explored and gave voice to the complexities of the American experience in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Roth's lasting contribution to literature was widely recognised throughout his lifetime, both in the US and abroad. Among other commendations he was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the International Man Booker Prize, twice the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award, and presented with the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal by Presidents Clinton and Obama, respectively.Philip Roth died on 22 May 2018 at the age of eighty-five having retired from writing six years previously.