Philip Roth: The Biography

Philip Roth: The Biography by Blake Bailey Book Summary

New York Times Bestseller

The renowned biographer’s definitive portrait of a literary titan.

Appointed by Philip Roth and granted independence and complete access, Blake Bailey spent years poring over Roth’s personal archive, interviewing his friends, lovers, and colleagues, and engaging Roth himself in breathtakingly candid conversations. The result is an indelible portrait of an American master and of the postwar literary scene.

Bailey shows how Roth emerged from a lower-middle-class Jewish milieu to achieve the heights of literary fame, how his career was nearly derailed by his catastrophic first marriage, and how he championed the work of dissident novelists behind the Iron Curtain.

Bailey examines Roth’s rivalrous friendships with Saul Bellow, John Updike, and William Styron, and reveals the truths of his florid love life, culminating in his almost-twenty-year relationship with actress Claire Bloom, who pilloried Roth in her 1996 memoir, Leaving a Doll’s House.

Tracing Roth’s path from realism to farce to metafiction to the tragic masterpieces of the American Trilogy, Bailey explores Roth’s engagement with nearly every aspect of postwar American culture.

Philip Roth: The Biography by Blake Bailey Book Reviews

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Blake Bailey - Philip Roth: The Biography Comments

About Blake Bailey Wiki

Blake Bailey (born July 1, 1963) is an American writer. Bailey is widely known for his literary biographies of Richard Yates, John Cheever, Charles Jackson, and Philip Roth. He is the editor of the Library of America omnibus editions of Cheever's stories and novels. Background Bailey grew up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and attended high school at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, where he was friends with another future author, Dan Fagin. He went to college at Tulane University, from which he graduated in 1985. Bailey is a tennis enthusiast.Bailey and his family lost their house and most of their possessions in Hurricane Katrina, an experience he wrote about in a series of articles ...

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