a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Our neighborhood's mission


Uncle Mickey
Philip Roth Writer
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

We did have art, we did have paintings on the wall, which is unusual. And the reason we had paintings on the wall was because of my mother's brother, my Uncle Mickey, who was a painter, and he was unlike the rest of the family. He wasn't a bohemian, but he was certainly not conventional, and he spent a lot of time in Europe where he would paint in the Louvre and he would be copying paintings. He was a portrait photographer by… by trade and he would make enough money to go… to go to Europe and he would close up his studio and he would go to Europe. My father didn't approve of this, but I found him an interesting man. So… and he was very important to my brother, because when my brother became interested in art my uncle, although he was a very sardonic man and tried to discourage him, he nonetheless gave him some books to read, some books to look at. There was a very famous anatomy… anatomy teacher at the Art Students League on 57th Street here, whose name was Bridgeman; I think his first name was George Bridgeman… it may not be George. And Bridgeman's anatomy book my uncle gave to my brother, my brother brought… brought it home, and there for the first time in my life I saw nude people. They were drawn, but they were nude. And my brother went on Saturdays – while he was a high school kid in Newark – he went over to New York every Saturday, which was quite exotic, just to take a course at the Art Students League in… in life drawing. And he would sit in a room with a naked woman, and I would debrief him when he… when he came home, and he would have his… were they charcoal drawings? I forget. He would have his drawings of this nude woman and I couldn't get over the fact that he was sitting in a room with a nude woman, of all things drawing.

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: Europe, The Art Students League of New York, 57th Street, New York, George Bridgeman

Duration: 2 minutes, 17 seconds

Date story recorded: March 2011

Date story went live: 18 March 2013