Named one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2021 by Oprah Magazine, Chicago Tribune, the Guardian, Literary Hub, The Times (UK), Financial Times, and more.
The renowned biographer’s definitive portrait of a literary titan.
Philip Roth appointed him and gave him independence and full access, Blake Bailey spent years researching the personal archive of Roth, interviewing his friends, colleagues and lovers, And Roth’s involvement in frank, breathtaking conversations. The result is an unforgettable portrayal of an American master and of the literary postwar scene.
Bailey shows how Roth emerged from a lower-middle-class Jewish community to reach the height of literary fame. How his career was going to be distroid by his disastrous first marriage, and how he defended the work of dissident novelists behind the Iron Curtain.
Bailey examines Roth’s rivalrous friendships with John Updike, William Styron and Saul Bellow, It reveals the facts and truths of his love life, ulminating in his almost-twenty-year relationship with actress Claire Bloom, Who mocked Roth in her 1996 memoir, Leaving a Doll’s House.
Tracing Roth’s path from realism to farce to metafiction to the tragic masterpieces of the American Trilogy, Bailey explores Roth’s engagement with nearly every aspect of postwar American culture.