Friday, 19 March 2010

On this day...

American novelist Philip Roth was born in 1933. The son of first generation American parents, Roth studied English at Bucknell, then Chicago, universities. Indeed, the majority of his career has been spent in education, teaching at Ivy League Princeton and Pennsylvania until his academic retirement in 1991. Roth found immediate literary success with his own writing, his first work 'Goodbye, Columbus' winning a National Book Award. Roth continued to win many awards over his career, including the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Books Critics Circle.

Yet Roth's most famous creation is that of the character Nathan Zuckerman, the protagnoist in many of his fictional works, such as 'The American Pastoral'. His fiction is known for its autobiographical traits, especially those concerned with his ex-wives. His first, Margaret Martinson, died in a car crash 3 years after their seperation, and his second, Claire Bloom, produced the memoirs 'Leaving a Doll's House', reproducing the unflattering details of their marriage. Four of Roth's novels and short stories have been made into films.  

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