Philip Roth: A Counterlife


Product Details

$29.95  $27.85
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.6 X 9.4 X 2.1 inches | 2.12 pounds
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About the Author

Ira Nadel is Professor of English at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and is the author of biographies of Leonard Cohen, Tom Stoppard, David Mamet and Leon Uris. He has also published Biography: Fiction Fact & Form, Joyce and the Jews and Modernism's Second Act, in addition to a
Critical Companion to Philip Roth.


"Nadel's research is so thorough that even Beth Roth's recipe for marble pound cake appears in full in the endnotes (chapter 8, note 101). There will be other biographies of Roth and his work, biographies that offer different understandings, but they will likely always find themselves competing with
this volume, which for now at least is in the class of the heavyweights." -- J. A. Zoller, emeritus, Houghton College

"This deeply thought book is rich with information and insight and will be a huge benefit to the scholarly community mushrooming up around Roth's works as well as to the general reader interested in the riveting life of an important American writer." -- Brett Ashley Kaplan, Cercle

"Sizeable, solidly researched, intelligently wrought." -- London Review of Books

"In its critical substance -- scholarship and literary insight DS it's really a better book, a more understanding book, than Bailey's." -- Josh Gidding,

"Well researched and clearly written... full of insights." -- Jewish Chronicle

"Ira Nadel's Philip Roth: A Counterlife is an intense and illuminating study of the life, times, and work of the Jewish man from Newark who became one of America's most original and provocative writers." -- Kristine Morris, Foreword Reviews, Starred Review

"In Philip Roth: A Counterlife, Ira Nadel exposes the multifaceted disposition of this major voice in American letters: Roth the realist, the ironist, the ventriloquist, the impersonator, the bard. In navigating the intricacies and dualities of the public and private Roth, Nadel shows the
complexities, the contradictions, and the counterlives both lived and imagined. As literary sleuth, Nadel has enriched the myriad possibilities for understanding this exacting and defiant writer and his work." -- Victoria Aarons, O.R. & Eva Mitchell Distinguished Professor of Literature, Department
of English, Trinity University

"Professor Nadel's study is always very readable and compelling but its discussion of material that has never been accessed before is particularly exciting." -- David Brauner, Professor of Contemporary Literature, The University of Reading

"Philip Roth: A Counterlife engages and illuminates the scenes of discontent, betrayal, illness, and rage in Roth's own life that allow for new understandings of his work and relationships. Drawing on such primary source material as interviews, personal correspondence, and site visits, Nadel's
biography penetrates the carefully composed narrative Roth presented publicly in order to present a "counter" Philip Roth, one who is at once more sympathetic to his readers than critics realize and more dynamic than even his self-creation allows. Nadel seamlessly weaves his interpretations of
Roth's most provocative texts into the story of Roth's own life: a life shadowed by pain, illness, and personal injustices, but also illuminated by the joys of writing, ideas, and friendships that will persist long after his death." -- Aimee Pozorski, Co-executive editor of Philip Roth Studies,
Professor of English, Central Connecticut State University

"An admiring and well-researched yet selective account of a great writer's career."--Kirkus

"An unrestrained portrait of an irascible figure, Nadel's account is an enlightening addition to the understanding of a major American writer."--Publishers Weekly

"Well researched and clearly written... full of insights."--Jewish Chronicle

"Ira Nadel's Philip Roth: A Counterlife is the book we've been waiting for. It's revealing, perceptive, sensitive, sensible, and immensely readable, a triumph of insight and scholarship."--Jewish Book Council

"Sizeable, solidly researched, intelligently wrought."--London Review of Books