As Roth remarked in 1974, his novels tended to be “spawned by the interplay between my previous fiction, recent undigested personal history, the circumstances of my immediate, everyday life, and the books I've been reading and teaching.”
Discuss three novels from three distinct phases of Roth’s career—The Ghost Writer (1979), American Pastoral (1996) and Everyman (2006)—in terms of their major themes and literary devices, but also insofar as they relate to his own life. In each case we'll look at Roth's process in conceiving a given novel: its formative ideas, interplay with his life at the time, his research process, and so on.
Tue, Jun 1: The Ghost Writer
Tue, Jun 15: American Pastoral
Tue, Jun 29: Everyman
Copies of Bailey’s Philip Roth: The Biography and Roth’s novels can be purchased from bookshop.org.