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Philip Roth: The Biography


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About the Author

Blake Bailey is the author of biographies of John Cheever, Richard Yates, and Charles Jackson. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians, and a finalist for the Pulitzer and James Tait Black Prizes. His previous book, The Splendid Things We Planned, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography. He lives in Virginia with his wife and daughter.


"Bailey's research is often revealing and vivid... Although Roth would not have enjoyed some of the tumult that will now attend its publication, he might have admired his biographer's industry, even his refusal to fall under his subject's sway. The man who emerges is a literary genius, constantly getting it wrong, loving others, then hurting them, wrestling with himself and with language, devoted to an almost unfathomable degree to the art of fiction." -- David Remnick - The New Yorker
"Bailey is a very good writer and a very good literary biographer. A double-or triple-natured subject is not beyond him... What a story... Bailey certainly lets the repellent in, and along with it comes the man in his wholeness." -- James Parker - The Atlantic
"Unassailable as to fact... clear-eyed... quickly moving... Philip Roth seems as brightly people as a Victorian novel... What [Bailey] does superbly... is chart Roth's sexual and emotional life, and map its effects on his work." -- Michael Gorra - The New York Review of Books
"The 19th-century novel lives on. Its name today is Biography; its nature is that of Dostoyevskian magnitude. And Blake Bailey's comprehensive life of Philip Roth - to tell it outright - is a narrative masterwork both of wholeness and particularity, of crises wedded to character, of character erupting into insight, insight into desire, and desire into destiny." -- Cynthia Ozick - The New York Times Book Review
"Meticulous, masterfully organized, and heroically fair-minded." -- Sam Sacks - The Wall Street Journal
"Magisterial' and 'definitive'...don't do justice to Blake Bailey's years-in-the-making opus... Bailey meticulously conjures the career of one of America's literary titans, the devils and angels that shaped his work." -- O, The Oprah Magazine
"A wonderful book... Beautifully written and highly readable." -- Michael Schaub - The Boston Globe

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