Tag Archives: Philip Roth

Episode 85: Fiction Off the Top Rope

Philip Roth! To Jon’s delight, the boys spend the bulk of this episode ruminating on the style, method, and subject matter of Philip Roth, using the opening of The Human Stain as the springboard for the conversation. They also offer a quick update about their writing, revision, and submission process.

Topics & Reading Discussed

Weekend News Roundup

I don’t know what’s going on in Cathy Day’s literary citizenship class, but her students are coming away with a harsh (realistic?) view of publishing. On one hand, I really admire this effort at professionalism, but on the other hand, I’m not sure it’s good for writers (or at least, their writing) to be obsessing over publishing before they’ve spent some time on their craft.

Most contemporary literary fiction is terrible, says a guy who writes contemporary literary fiction. He makes some fair points, and I think you can waste an awful lot of time trying to keep up with the hottest new writers out there, but I’m also skeptical of blanket statements like that.

Here’s a feel-good story for those of you toiling away: A teenager just landed a three-book deal for her romance novels. It sounds like writing is her hobby, and she plans to do other, perhaps better things with her life.

PBS aired its American Masters special on Philip Roth last night — well worth checking out.

James Salter’s new novel, All That Is, comes out Tuesday. Rumor has it that it’s the 88-year-old author’s best work. Why isn’t he more popular?

Best book cover bio statement ever?

rothThat’s the inside back flap of an early edition hardback of Portnoy’s Complaint. Even DeLillo and Pynchon jacket flaps offer a complete sentence as a bio statement. I love that Roth’s just lets the work speak for itself. Also, as Ben noted, Roth looks like he’s about to seduce the photographer. (Also, also, it’s not like a bio statement appears anywhere else on the cover either.)