New York magazine asks 28 men and five women to assess Philip Roth
Writers love talking about Philip Roth. He is prolific. He is decorated — Roth has won the Pulitzer, the National Book Award (twice), and the PEN/Faulkner award (three times). He hasn’t won the Nobel, but it is a sport and a pastime for literary pundits to speculate, each year, if Roth will finally be so anointed.
In Roth, we have a great American writer, and also a polarizing one. As one of the judges for the Man Booker International prize in 2011, Carmen Callil withdrew from the panel over the decision to award Roth the prize. Most of the debate surrounding his work involves questions about his greatness and his place in history, but it is also a debate over what some read as misogyny and self-loathing. Or is that insight into the human condition? There’s no shortage of fascinating and critical discussion fodder.