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Philip Roth

Thursday February 24, 2011
07:00 pm

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In partnership with the National Book Critics Circle, we were pleased to present a special evening on the work and legacy of renowned author Philip Roth. Claudia Roth Pierpont (Passionate Minds: Women Rewriting the World), Nathan Englander (The Ministry of Special Cases), and Scott Raab (Real Hollywood Stories) discussed Roth’s prolific and award-winning career, and then Philip Roth responded and read from his recent work.

In the 1990s Philip Roth won America’s four major literary awards in succession: the National Book Critics Circle Award for Patrimony (1991), the PEN/Faulkner Award for Operation Shylock (1993), the National Book Award for Sabbath’s Theater  (1995), and the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for American Pastoral  (1997). He won the Ambassador Book Award of the English-Speaking Union for I Married a Communist (1998); in the same year he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House. Previously he won the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Counterlife (1986) and the National Book Award for his first book, Goodbye, Columbus (1959). In 2000 he published The Human Stain, concluding a trilogy that depicts the ideological ethos of postwar America. For The Human Stain Roth received his second PEN/Faulkner Award as well as Britain’s W. H. Smith Award for the Best Book of the Year. In 2001 he received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction, given every six years “for the entire work of the recipient.” In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians Award for “the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003—2004.” In 2007 Roth received the PEN/Faulkner Award for Everyman.

Nathan Englander is the author of the story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and the novel The Ministry of Special Cases (both Alfred A. Knopf). His fiction and essays have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and anthologized in The O. Henry Prize Anthology and numerous editions of Best American Short Stories. Englander was selected as one of “20 Writers for the 21st Century” by The New Yorker, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN/Malamud Award, and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. He is currently at work on a play based on his short story "The Twenty-seventh Man."

Claudia Roth Pierpont has been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1990 and became a staff writer in 2004. A collection of eleven of Pierpont’s New Yorker essays, “Passionate Minds: Women Rewriting the World,” was published in 2000 and was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. The book juxtaposes the lives and works of women writers, including Hannah Arendt, Gertrude Stein, Anaïs Nin, Margaret Mitchell, and Zora Neale Hurston. Pierpont has been the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers of the New York Public Library.

Scott Raab, Writer at Large for Esquire magazine since 1997, grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. A graduate of Cleveland State University and the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, Raab abandoned writing fiction when his Muse left him for a cellist. His book Real Hollywood Stories is a collection of celebrity profiles. He's currently at work on a memoir, The Whore of Akron, to be published by HarperCollins in October 2011, about his torrid love affair with LeBron James. Raab lives in New Jersey with his wife and son.


See also: Philip Roth on the Writer Who Made Him a Reader

Read reviews of Philip Roth's work:


Goodbye, Columbus review by Saul Bellow

Letting Go, “New Books” review by Elizabeth Hardwick

“Up Against the Wall, Mama!” review of Portnoy’s Complaint by Alfred Kazin

Our Gang, review by Dwight McDonald

Review of The Breast by Theodore Solotaroff

“Deciding to Do the Impossible,” review of The Counterlife by William H. Gass

“Howl,” review of Sabbath’s Theater by Frank Kermode

“Waiting for Lefty,” review of  I Married a Communist by Robert Stone

In Retrospect: The Ghost Writer, review by Wyatt Mason