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Influences? Saul Bellow and Augie March


I read a helluva lot...
Philip Roth Writer
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I read. I read a hell of a lot in college. I had a very rigorous literary education at this school, strange to say. And I read a hell of a lot in graduate school. I think when I came to New York with my $800, that I was mostly writing, and I don't think I stayed in at night to read, I wanted to go out. And my reading really began again, post-University, when I began teaching literature, which would be in about 1964 at the University of Pennsylvania. And then I read a lot, and I taught there for quite a few years and I educated myself through teaching… through teaching novels, and I read just about every major writer and taught books by every major writer; European, British and American. And... educated myself.

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: University of Pennsylvania

Duration: 1 minute, 32 seconds

Date story recorded: March 2011

Date story went live: 18 March 2013