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October Author Spotlight: Philip Roth


Philip Roth is an acclaimed novelist and short story writer who has defined Jewish American writing. His novel, The Human Stain, was adapted to film and will be released this month. It is already receiving critical acclaim and will draw new attention to this talented writer and his body of work.


October 14, 2003
— Philip Roth was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1933. His father was an insurance salesman. He attended public schools in Newark, received his B.A. from Bucknell University followed by his M.A. in English from The University of Chicago.


In 1955 Roth joined the army but was discharged after an injury during basic training period. He continued his studies in Chicago, but dropped out of the Ph.D. program in 1959 and started to write film reviews for the New Republic.


Roth has taught comparative literature for many years at the University of Pennsylvania and as Distinguished Professor of Literature at Hunter College from 1988-1992. He was also General Editor at Penguin until 1989 where he created the book series "Writers from the Other Europe," which brought many new works to the Americn audience.


Roth has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1970.  He received the 2002 Medal for distinguished Contribution to American Letters from The National Book Foundation.


Philip Roth's work has been acclaimed around the world, and in 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House. Philip Roth has lived in Rome, London, Chicago, and New York. He resides now in Connecticut.


Eight Major Works

More Books & Links:

  • Portnoy's Complaint (1969) The book that put Roth on the literary map; it's Holden Caulfield on viagra with comic pathos!

In Portnoy's Complaint, Roth diverges from his earlier works to write a free wheeling and funny novel of ambiguous nostalgia for boyhood sexuality surrounding some hilarious, but at the time, somewhat shocking accounts of masterbation and sexual adventures which the book's narrator declares his intent to "put the id back in yid."

  • The Breast (1972) a man wakes up to discover he has become a 155 pound breast.  Sound like Kafka?  Find out.
  • Dying Animal (2001) erros and mortality; he has an affair with a dying student

Interview with the author: Houghton Mifflin

Interview with Charles McGrath/NYTimes

Salon Review of The Zukerman books



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