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By Alane Salierno Mason and Alane Salierno Mason,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 20, 1998
"I Married a Communist," by Philip Roth. Houghton Mifflin. 336 pages. $26.Philip Roth's stature in American letters is so great, and one is reminded of it so often (a new publication every 18 months, on average, for the last 30-something years, for a total of 23 books) and so insistently (two National Book Awards, two National Book Critics Circle Awards) that it begins to seem almost un-American not to read him.Roth's primary narrator in "I Married a Communist" is again his alter-ego Nathan Zuckerman, in his 60s and living alone in a small house in the woods when he encounters his beloved and inspirational high school English teacher Murray Ringold, now 90 years old.Murray unfolds (over six nights on the back porch of Zuckerman's cabin)
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By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | September 10, 2012
Connoisseurs of nonsense will enjoy the latest example of fatuity at Wikipedia.* Philip Roth discovers that a Wikipedia entry on his novel The Human Stain says that the principal character is based on the late Anatole Broyard. This is not so, and Mr. Roth attempted to get Wikipedia to correct the error. Here is his account of what happened, part of a 2,700-word article i n The New Yorker : "When, through an official interlocutor, I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the 'English Wikipedia Administrator' - in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor - that I, Roth, was not a credible source: 'I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,' writes the Wikipedia Administrator - but we require secondary sources.' " Yes, you read that.
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By DONNA RIFKIND and DONNA RIFKIND,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 14, 2006
Everyman Philip Roth Houghton Mifflin / 192 pages / $24 Let's try to forget, for the moment, that this book's author is Philip Roth, author of 27 books, winner of nearly every American literary honor, including the Pulitzer Prize, two National Book Awards, and, just two weeks ago, the PEN/Nabokov Award for "enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship." As a living legend, Roth tends to send his readers into a dither, causing them to babble with excessive praise or, more traditionally, to sputter with invective.
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By Tim Rutten and Tim Rutten,Los Angeles Times | September 28, 2008
Indignation By Philip Roth Houghton Mifflin / 233 pages / $26 One of the ways to recognize truly great writers is that even their mistakes engage us. Philip Roth is our greatest living novelist, and his new book, Indignation, is an irritating, puzzling and fascinating bundle of mistakes, miscalculations and self-indulgences. (This being Roth in a slightly retrospective humor, there's also a great deal of what used to be called self-abuse, actual and symbolic, but that's another story.
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By Tim Rutten and Tim Rutten,Los Angeles Times | September 28, 2008
Indignation By Philip Roth Houghton Mifflin / 233 pages / $26 One of the ways to recognize truly great writers is that even their mistakes engage us. Philip Roth is our greatest living novelist, and his new book, Indignation, is an irritating, puzzling and fascinating bundle of mistakes, miscalculations and self-indulgences. (This being Roth in a slightly retrospective humor, there's also a great deal of what used to be called self-abuse, actual and symbolic, but that's another story.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Donna Rifkind and Donna Rifkind,Special to the Sun | October 3, 2004
It seemed like a brilliant idea for a novel: To transplant the European nightmare to America's Jews in 1940, to chronicle their terror while something akin to the Final Solution is being planned and executed on American soil, and to chronicle it, moreover, from the point of view of a Jewish child, an American Anne Frank, here re-imagined as a 7-year-old New Jersey boy. And it seemed, at first, as though Philip Roth would be the only man for the job....
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By Laura Lippman and Laura Lippman,SUN STAFF | November 17, 1995
Philip Roth has won the National Book Award for his 21st book, "Sabbath's Theater." And why not? It may not be the best book of his 36-year career, or even his second-best, as his detractors will surely point out, but his body of work is certainly worthy. The awards do, which is why no one should make a fuss. Yet they will.When it comes to Mr. Roth, it's never just about the work. People complain that he's anti-Semetic, misogynistic, pornographic or just too successful. There is carping about his large advances and his tendency, in recent years, to switch publishers in search of those advances.
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By Jean Marbella and Jean Marbella,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | August 20, 2001
PETERBOROUGH, N.H. - At 68, Philip Roth is at the phase of a successful writer's life in which the awards stack up with alarming frequency - the surest sign, he says, that one's career is finished - and he garners the kind of reverent praise that usually doesn't come without hearses and incense. But if he thought he would sit back yesterday at the MacDowell arts colony here, pick up another lifetime-achievement medal and bask in the kind of high-minded, man-of-letters accolades befitting someone of his stature, well, no wonder he was startled by how his friend and fellow author William Styron characterized Roth's role in the pantheon of literature.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 31, 2003
Philip Roth's The Human Stain is a great novel that retains some fraction of its explosive force even in Robert Benton's relatively tame movie version. In this melancholy miniaturization of Roth's primed and loaded book, the affair of a politically disgraced classics professor and faculty dean, Coleman Silk (Anthony Hopkins), with a much younger, uncouth cleaning woman, Faunia Farley (Nicole Kidman), becomes the center of a cautious parable of secrets and lies. Even this limited treatment of Roth's themes and ideas touches on more live-wire content than we're used to seeing in American movies.
NEWS
By Dave Edelman | October 11, 1993
OPERATION SHYLOCK. By Philip Roth. Simon & Schuster. 398 pages. $23.00.Jerusalem is the land of contradictions. It's the city of the hunted and oppressed that has inspired countless acts of violence and oppression, the city that several of the world's largest and most conflicting religions claim as holy ground, the city that's at the heart of the notion of paradox -- Israel: contender with God.It's also the city chosen as the setting of Philip Roth's latest...
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By Victoria A. Brownworth and Victoria A. Brownworth,[Special to The Sun] | October 14, 2007
Exit Ghost By Philip Roth Houghton Mifflin / 294 pages / $26 The process of dying is long, lonely and arduous, which goes a long way toward explaining why we don't like to discuss it much in literary fiction. The failure of the body - incontinence, impotence, jagged scars and missing hair - it's grim stuff, nightmare material. There's the dramatic dying, of course - the opening pages of Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead certainly exploit the harrowing nature of sudden, youthful death.
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By DONNA RIFKIND and DONNA RIFKIND,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 14, 2006
Everyman Philip Roth Houghton Mifflin / 192 pages / $24 Let's try to forget, for the moment, that this book's author is Philip Roth, author of 27 books, winner of nearly every American literary honor, including the Pulitzer Prize, two National Book Awards, and, just two weeks ago, the PEN/Nabokov Award for "enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship." As a living legend, Roth tends to send his readers into a dither, causing them to babble with excessive praise or, more traditionally, to sputter with invective.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Donna Rifkind and Donna Rifkind,Special to the Sun | October 3, 2004
It seemed like a brilliant idea for a novel: To transplant the European nightmare to America's Jews in 1940, to chronicle their terror while something akin to the Final Solution is being planned and executed on American soil, and to chronicle it, moreover, from the point of view of a Jewish child, an American Anne Frank, here re-imagined as a 7-year-old New Jersey boy. And it seemed, at first, as though Philip Roth would be the only man for the job....
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 31, 2003
Philip Roth's The Human Stain is a great novel that retains some fraction of its explosive force even in Robert Benton's relatively tame movie version. In this melancholy miniaturization of Roth's primed and loaded book, the affair of a politically disgraced classics professor and faculty dean, Coleman Silk (Anthony Hopkins), with a much younger, uncouth cleaning woman, Faunia Farley (Nicole Kidman), becomes the center of a cautious parable of secrets and lies. Even this limited treatment of Roth's themes and ideas touches on more live-wire content than we're used to seeing in American movies.
FEATURES
By Jean Marbella and Jean Marbella,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | August 20, 2001
PETERBOROUGH, N.H. - At 68, Philip Roth is at the phase of a successful writer's life in which the awards stack up with alarming frequency - the surest sign, he says, that one's career is finished - and he garners the kind of reverent praise that usually doesn't come without hearses and incense. But if he thought he would sit back yesterday at the MacDowell arts colony here, pick up another lifetime-achievement medal and bask in the kind of high-minded, man-of-letters accolades befitting someone of his stature, well, no wonder he was startled by how his friend and fellow author William Styron characterized Roth's role in the pantheon of literature.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | July 16, 2000
A few weeks ago, a treasured friend, with a busy, cultured life, faced terrifying surgery and, at best, a long immobilizing recovery. Visiting my house a few days before that, she pleaded, "I need major anesthetic distraction." My library is jumbled, sketchy, ravaged by too many moves and unredeemed loans. There are more or less 2,200 volumes, dating back to childhood and school days. Relatively few are new. I am forever going back and dipping into books. This I know: Reading is civilization's grandest palliative against fear and anxiety.
NEWS
By Donna Rifkind and Donna Rifkind,Special to The Sun | August 20, 1995
"Sabbath's Theater," by Philip Roth. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 451 pages. $24.95 After 21 books, Philip Roth has finally written a real novel.That may seem an outrageous statement about a near-legendary American author showered with accolades, including, in the last decade alone, two National Book Critics Circle Awards and the PEN/Faulkner prize. Nonetheless, I think it's a fair claim. Let me explain.While justly celebrated for their humor, anger, shock value and energy, Mr. Roth's novels have seemed a series of literary exercises rather than literature itself, their mechanics as visible as underwear through a sheer skirt.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | September 10, 2012
Connoisseurs of nonsense will enjoy the latest example of fatuity at Wikipedia.* Philip Roth discovers that a Wikipedia entry on his novel The Human Stain says that the principal character is based on the late Anatole Broyard. This is not so, and Mr. Roth attempted to get Wikipedia to correct the error. Here is his account of what happened, part of a 2,700-word article i n The New Yorker : "When, through an official interlocutor, I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the 'English Wikipedia Administrator' - in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor - that I, Roth, was not a credible source: 'I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,' writes the Wikipedia Administrator - but we require secondary sources.' " Yes, you read that.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | May 14, 2000
It's pal time. Within one month, two of America's most illustrious living novelists have published buddy books. In April came Saul Bellow's "Ravelstein," a celebratory obituary of a brilliant scholar, based on the late Allan Bloom. It was narrated by a fictional novelist whose consciousness is often inseparable from Bellow's own. Now comes "The Human Stain" by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin, 361 pages, $26), the elegiac odyssey of a brilliant scholar who resembles Anatole Broyard, the late New York Times book critic.
ENTERTAINMENT
By LAURA LIPPMAN and LAURA LIPPMAN,Sun Staff | February 28, 1999
You can't judge a book by its cover, but you still might make the kind of snap decision that will lead you to buy it.That's the thinking of publishers, who see every one of a book cover's components -- title, design, blurbs from critics and other writers -- as marketing tools. Nothing happens by accident on the cover of a book, not even the author's biography. (Granted, many author photos appear to have happened by accident, but that's a topic for another day.)The author bio presents an obvious problem for first novelists: They have no track record.
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