Philip Roth was born in Newark, New Jersey, which has served as the setting for many of his novels. He won the National Book Award for his first book, Goodbye, Columbus, and for Sabbath’s Theater, the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral, and three PEN/Faulkner awards, for Operation Shylock, The Human Stain, and Everyman.

A Conversation in Prague

Born in Prague in 1931, Ivan Klíma has undergone what Jan Kott calls a “European education”: during his adult years as a novelist, critic, and playwright his work was suppressed in Czechoslovakia by the Communist authorities (and his family members harried and punished right along with him), while during his …

Pro-Life Pro

Mr. President, may I ask about this new constitutional amendment that you are submitting to Congress? You darn well can, Bill. I think we’re on a wavelength here that Americans can be prouda. Can you read us the wording of your proposed amendment, sir? I gotta better idea. We gotta …

Imagining Jews

Portnoy’s Fame—and Mine Alas, it wasn’t exactly what I’d had in mind. Particularly as I was one of those students of the Fifties who came to books by way of a fairly good but rather priestly literary education, in which writing poems and novels was assumed to eclipse all else …

The President Addresses the Nation

My fellow Americans: I have an announcement to make to you tonight of the greatest national importance. As you know, the Senate has voted this afternoon to remove me from the Office of the Presidency. That, of course, is their right under the Constitution of the United States of America, …

On The Breast: An Interview

Alan Lelchuk: I’d like to ask about the origins of The Breast. How do you account for the idea itself? Do you think this is a strange or unusual book for you to have written? Do you see any connection between The Breast and your previous work, or do you …

Imaginary Press Conference with Our Leader

“From personal and religious beliefs I consider abortions an unacceptable form of population control. Further, unrestricted abortion policies, or abortion on demand, I cannot square with my personal belief in the sanctity of human life—including the life of the yet unborn. For, surely, the unborn have rights also, recognized in …

Imaginary Conversation with Our Leader

“From personal and religious beliefs I consider abortions an unacceptable form of population control. Further, unrestricted abortion policies, or abortion on demand, I cannot square with my personal belief in the sanctity of human life—including the life of the yet unborn. For, surely, the unborn have rights also, recognized in …

The Play that Dare Not Speak Its Name

In Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee attempted to move beyond the narrowness of his personal interests by having his characters speculate from time to time upon the metaphysical and historical implications of their predicament. In Tiny Alice, the metaphysics, such as they are, appear to be Albee’s deepest …

Channel X: Two Plays on the Race Conflict

In the brief note James Baldwin has written as an introduction to the published version of Blues for Mr. Charlie,[^1] the only character he mentions at any length is the man appearing in the play as Lyle Britten, a white store-owner in a Southern town who murders a young Negro …