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Philip Roth and the Emperor’s Clothes

In response to:

Philip Roth: 'The Full Arc'? from the December 19, 2013 issue

To the Editors:

In reviewing Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books [NYR, December 19, 2013], Gideon Lewis-Kraus insists that Claudia Roth Pierpont is “protective of her friend and his privacy,” that “she is unabashed in her admiration,” and that in “smothering” the author she “diminishes his real, inestimable achievements.” While it is true that Pierpont not surprisingly admires much of Roth’s brilliant work, she is anything but uncritical, not hesitating to state outright that there are times when the emperor’s clothes strike her as threadbare.

Joel Conarroe
President Emeritus, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
Former President, PEN American Center
New York City

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