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Web of Stories offers you the chance to listen to some of the greatest people of our time telling their life stories.
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Birth in Czechoslovakia

Jan Klein


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'It's hard to remember all these books!'

Philip Roth - Writer

At the dawn of the new century I kind of changed gears, not because of the new century but just because of my writing energy, I guess — my writing interest — and I began to write a series of short books — why, I don't know. I... I remember that Saul Bellow, who was a friend for years, near the end of his life began to write these short books called The Actual, and The Bellarosa Connection, and so on, and I said to him, 'How do you do it? How do you do it?' He just laughed, Saul would laugh and that would be it, but I wondered, how do you do it? I had written some shorter books, but I'd been writing these long books for so... for over a decade now, beginning with Operation Shylock and ending with The Human Stain; and I thought, how do you pack a punch in... in a third of the pages? I know how you do it in a... in a novel, because there's the power of the... the power of the amplification provides you with the punch, you know, but when... when you're reducing and reducing, how do you do it?

So I thought I would try it.  And before I tried it, however, I'm leaving out one book, I think, and that is The Plot Against America. It's hard to remember all these books, it's easier to write them – The Plot Against America

Freeman Dyson - Scientist
Doris Lessing - Writer
Oliver Sacks - Scientist
Marvin Minsky - Scientist