Coverart for item
The Resource Why write? : collected nonfiction, 1960-2013, Philip Roth

Why write? : collected nonfiction, 1960-2013, Philip Roth

Label
Why write? : collected nonfiction, 1960-2013
Title
Why write?
Title remainder
collected nonfiction, 1960-2013
Statement of responsibility
Philip Roth
Title variation
  • Philip Roth, why write?
  • Collected nonfiction, 1960-2013
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • "Throughout an unparalleled literary career that includes two National Book Awards (Goodbye, Columbus, 1959 and Sabbath's Theater, 1995), the Pulitzer Prize in fiction (American Pastoral, 1997), the National Book Critics Circle Award (The Counterlife, 1986), and the National Humanities Medal (awarded by President Obama in 2011), among many other honors, Philip Roth has produced an extraordinary body of nonfiction writing on a wide range of topics: his own work and that of the writers he admires, the creative process, and the state of American culture. This work is collected for the first time in Why Write?, the tenth and final volume in the Library of America's definitive Philip Roth edition. Here is Roth's selection of the indispensable core of Reading Myself and Others, the entirety of the 2001 book Shop Talk, and "Explanations," a collection of fourteen later pieces brought together here for the first time, six never before published. Among the essays gathered are "My Uchronia," an account of the genesis of The Plot Against America, a novel grounded in the insight that "all the assurances are provisional, even here in a two-hundred-year-old democracy"; "Errata," the unabridged version of the "Open Letter to Wikipedia" published on The New Yorker's website in 2012 to counter the online encyclopedia's egregious errors about his life and work; and "The Ruthless Intimacy of Fiction," a speech delivered on the occasion of his eightieth birthday that celebrates the "refractory way of living" of Sabbath's Theater's Mickey Sabbath. Also included are two lengthy interviews given after Roth's retirement, which take stock of a lifetime of work."--Amazon
  • "Tracing the full span of Philip Roth's career--from the early controversies surrounding the stories in Goodbye, Columbus to his recent assessments of his work and corrections of the record--Why Write? shows at every turn the vigor, acuity, and persuasive power of Roth's brilliant nonfiction. As a retrospective summation of his essays and interviews, it is essential reading in tandem with Roth's novels, both for the discussions of his own books and as a record of his profound engagement with other writers: Kafka, Bellow, Malamud, and the leading figures of Cold War-era Czechoslovakia among them. Divided into three sections, Why Write? begins with Roth's selection of the indispensable core of Reading Myself and Others, first published in 1975 and expanded for a second edition ten years later. It opens with the remarkable hybrid story-essay, "'I Always Wanted You to Admire My Fasting'; or, Looking at Kafka," a critical evaluation that yields to a fictional imagination of Kafka as young Roth's Hebrew School teacher in 1940s Newark, the first of the provocative forays into speculative alternative realities that would take shape in novels like The Ghost Writer and The Plot Against America. In the essays and interviews given in the wake of the explosive release of Portnoy's Complaint, Roth clarifies how he sought to "raise obscenity to the level of a subject," provides sharp-edged insights into an America wracked by political turmoil and sexual revolution, and defends the imaginative freedom of writers and readers alike. The volume's second section presents in its entirety the 2001 book Shop Talk, a series of conversations with writers such as Aharon Appelfeld, Primo Levi, and Edna O'Brien, as well as essays on Malamud, Bellow, and the artist Philip Guston. The collection highlights Roth's skill as an astute literary interlocutor, engaged with writers whose traditions, assumptions, and experience can differ markedly from those of the American world of his own fiction. The concluding section, "Explanations," comprises fourteen later pieces collected here for the first time, six of them never before published. Among the essays gathered are "My Uchronia," an account of the genesis of The Plot Against America, a novel grounded in the insight that "all the assurances are provisional, even here in a two-hundred-year-old democracy"; "Errata," the unabridged version of the "Open Letter to Wikipedia" published on The New Yorker's website in 2012 to counter the online encyclopedia's egregious errors about his life and work; "Forty-Five Years On," Roth's absolute last word on Portnoy; and "The Ruthless Intimacy of Fiction," a speech delivered on the occasion of his eightieth birthday that evokes the Newark of Roth's childhood and examines the "refractory way of living" of Sabbath's Theater's Mickey Sabbath. Also included are two lengthy interviews given after Roth's retirement, which take stock of a lifetime of work: "Morning after morning for fifty years, I faced the next page defenseless and unprepared. Writing for me was a feat of self-preservation.""--Publisher's description
Member of
Biography type
contains biographical information
Cataloging source
YDX
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Roth, Philip
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
Series statement
The Library of America
Series volume
300
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Roth, Philip
  • Roth, Philip
  • Authorship
  • Literature
  • American essays
  • American essays
  • American essays
  • Authorship
  • Literature
  • 18.06 Anglo-American literature
Label
Why write? : collected nonfiction, 1960-2013, Philip Roth
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
Edition statement from book jacket back cover
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
  • Writing and the powers that be
  • After eight books
  • Interview with Le Nouvel Observateur
  • Interview with the London Sunday Times
  • Interview with the Paris Review
  • Interview on Zuckerman
  • Shop talk : a writer and his colleagues and their work.
  • Conversation in Turin with Primo Levi
  • Conversation in Jerusalem with Aharon Appelfeld
  • Conversation in Prague with Ivan Klíma
  • From Reading myself and others.
  • Conversation in New York with Isaac Bashevis Singer about Bruno Schulz
  • Conversation in London and Connecticut with Milan Kundera
  • Conversation in London with Edna O'Brien
  • An exchange with Mary McCarthy
  • Pictures of Malamud
  • Pictures by Guston
  • Rereading Saul Bellow
  • Explanations.
  • Juice or gravy?
  • Patrimony
  • "I always wanted you to admire my fasting," or, Looking at Kafka
  • Yiddish/English
  • "I have fallen in love with American names"
  • My Uchronia
  • Eric Duncan
  • Errata
  • "Tyranny is better organized than freedom"
  • A Czech education
  • The primacy of Ludus
  • Interview on The ghost writer
  • Interview with Svenska Dagbladet
  • Writing American fiction
  • Forty-five years on
  • The ruthless intimacy of fiction
  • Chronology
  • New Jewish stereotypes
  • Writing about Jews
  • On Portnoy's complaint
  • In response to those who have asked me : How did you come to write that book, anyway?
  • Imagining Jews
Control code
ocn967028666
Dimensions
21 cm.
Edition
The Library of America edition.
Extent
xiii, 452 pages
Isbn
9781598535402
Lccn
2016963465
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
Label
Why write? : collected nonfiction, 1960-2013, Philip Roth
Publication
Copyright
Note
Edition statement from book jacket back cover
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
  • Writing and the powers that be
  • After eight books
  • Interview with Le Nouvel Observateur
  • Interview with the London Sunday Times
  • Interview with the Paris Review
  • Interview on Zuckerman
  • Shop talk : a writer and his colleagues and their work.
  • Conversation in Turin with Primo Levi
  • Conversation in Jerusalem with Aharon Appelfeld
  • Conversation in Prague with Ivan Klíma
  • From Reading myself and others.
  • Conversation in New York with Isaac Bashevis Singer about Bruno Schulz
  • Conversation in London and Connecticut with Milan Kundera
  • Conversation in London with Edna O'Brien
  • An exchange with Mary McCarthy
  • Pictures of Malamud
  • Pictures by Guston
  • Rereading Saul Bellow
  • Explanations.
  • Juice or gravy?
  • Patrimony
  • "I always wanted you to admire my fasting," or, Looking at Kafka
  • Yiddish/English
  • "I have fallen in love with American names"
  • My Uchronia
  • Eric Duncan
  • Errata
  • "Tyranny is better organized than freedom"
  • A Czech education
  • The primacy of Ludus
  • Interview on The ghost writer
  • Interview with Svenska Dagbladet
  • Writing American fiction
  • Forty-five years on
  • The ruthless intimacy of fiction
  • Chronology
  • New Jewish stereotypes
  • Writing about Jews
  • On Portnoy's complaint
  • In response to those who have asked me : How did you come to write that book, anyway?
  • Imagining Jews
Control code
ocn967028666
Dimensions
21 cm.
Edition
The Library of America edition.
Extent
xiii, 452 pages
Isbn
9781598535402
Lccn
2016963465
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations

Library Locations

    • Georgetown LibraryBorrow it
      3260 R St. NW, Washington, DC, 20007, US
      38.9134043 -77.0660321
    • Petworth LibraryBorrow it
      4200 Kansas Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20011, US
      38.9421922 -77.02614299999999
    • Tenley-Friendship LibraryBorrow it
      4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20016, US
      38.9476208 -77.0799279
    • West End LibraryBorrow it
      2522 Virginia Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20037, US
      38.8992872 -77.05423379999999
    • Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) LibraryBorrow it
      1630 7th St. NW, Washington, DC, 20001, US
      38.9123733 -77.022493
Processing Feedback ...