Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books

Biography, Jewish Interest

Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books is the story of Philip Roth’s creative life.  It is not a biography – though it contains a wealth of previously undisclosed biographical details and unpublished material – but something ultimately more rewarding: the exploration of a great writer through his art.  From the unexpected outrage that greeted Roth’s short stories of the 1950s and the uproar over Portnoy’s Complaint to the acknowledged masterworks of his later years – The Ghost Writer, The Counterlife, Operation Shylock, Sabbath’s Theater, American Pastoral, The Human Stain – this book covers the full span of Roth’s immense body of work  But there is more: Pierpont, who has known Roth for nearly a decade, fills the book with comments and observations by Roth himself, drawn from their ongoing conversations.   Here are insights and anecdotes that will change the way many people see this most galvanizing and still controversial writer: a young and unhappily married Roth struggling to write, a wildly successful Roth helping writers from Eastern Europe to get their books known in the West; Roth responding to the early, Jewish – and the later, feminist – attacks on his work.  Here are Roth’s family, his inspirations, his critics, and his friendships with such figures as Saul Bellow and John Updike.  Publisher’s Weekly calls Roth Unbound “a dazzling chronicle that traces moments from the author’s life and explores the ‘life of his art.’”