Award-winning author Philip Roth has made a career of confronting the heartbreaking dissolution of relationships, the absurdity of sexual neuroses, and the downside of his own literary fame. Many of his readers believe that Roth has been merely writing his own story for nearly fifty years. However, the author refuses to offer such speculators any simple answers, saying of his characters, “It's all me. Nothing is me."
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Also Known As:
Philip Milton Roth
Date of Birth:
March 19, 1933
Place of Birth:
Newark, New Jersey
B.A. in English, Bucknell University, 1954; M.A. in English, University of Chicago, 1955
Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral, 1998; National Book Award for Goodbye Columbus, 1960, and Sabbath's Theater, 1995; National Book Critics Circle Award, for The Counterlife, 1987, and for Patrimony: A True Story
|Roth's Latest||Selected Works|
Like Rip Van Winkle returning to his hometown to find that all has changed, Nathan Zuckerman comes back to New York, the city he left eleven years before. Alone on his New England mountain, Zuckerman has been nothing but a writer: no voices, no media, no terrorist threats, no women, no news, no tasks other than his work and the enduring of old age. Walking the streets like a revenant, he quickly makes three connections that explode his carefully protected solitude. Haunted by Roth's earlier work The Ghost Writer, Exit Ghost is an amazing leap into yet another phase in this great writer's insatiable commitment to fiction.
Goodbye, Columbus (1959)|
Portnoy's Complaint (1969)
American Pastoral (1997)
The Human Stain (2000)
The Dying Animal (2001)
The Plot Against America (2004)
Exit Ghost (2007)
Philip Roth chronology
|Roth on Roth|
|Patrimony: A True Story|
In 1988, Roth delivered an innovative twist on the autobiography by allowing his fictional counterpart, Nathan Zuckerman, to critique it within the same volume. The later memoir Patrimony, focusing on Roth's father's life and fatal battle with a brain tumor, is a straightforwardly personal, poignant account.
The Facts: A Novelist's Autobiography
|The Best Book to Read First||Zuckerman and the Pulitzer|
Philip Roth, Marty Asher (Editor)
Roth's most eyebrow-raising work is a classic capsule of the Jewish-American experience, as lewdly and hilariously narrated from the shrink's couch by one Alexander Portnoy.
Roth stuck with his literary alter ego in later novels after the Zuckerman Bound trilogy, but mainly as a narrator. The post-Counterlife trilogy began with the Pulitzer-winning American Pastoral, in which Zuckerman relates the story of a hardworking family man and his daughter's upsetting turn to terrorism.
|Photo by Nancy Crampton||