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American Pastoral


Philip Roth Writer
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I had a certain amount of investigating to do, I put this... met this guy in the glove business, leather was a big industry in Newark, and the glove business, there were some glove-makers there, and so I found glove-makers here in America, talked to them, found out about glove-making, I forget how I found an old glove-cutter up in Gloversville, New York, who cut a glove for me. And then he gave me a piece of leather and let me cut a glove; and that glove is… you can wear on your foot, I think, but I learned how to do it, and it brought me back enriched to the book.

The fame of the American writer Philip Roth (1933-2018) rested on the frank explorations of Jewish-American life he portrayed in his novels. There is a strong autobiographical element in much of what he wrote, alongside social commentary and political satire. Despite often polarising critics with his frequently explicit accounts of his male protagonists' sexual doings, Roth received a great many prestigious literary awards which include a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1997, and the 4th Man Booker International Prize in 2011.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Newark, America, Gloversville, New York

Duration: 46 seconds

Date story recorded: March 2011

Date story went live: 18 March 2013