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I should have slept with Philip Roth

One of the perks of my job -- I got to go to really interesting events and meet really interesting people all the time. Some people were more interesting than others, of course, and I'd learned that meeting people you admire is often a bummer. They are generally shorter, fatter and uglier than you imagined, but that's neither here nor there.

In this particular scenario, I was being introduced to Philip Roth, my mother’s favorite writer, whom I had heard her refer to as “theliterary lion.” And while I’ve never been particularly starstruck, I flipped when I found out Roth was going to be there. Next thing I know, a mutual friend takes me by the hand, drags me over to Roth, and introduces me to him in this fashion: “Philip. Zis is Periel, she is a grrrreat writer.”

I could not imagine anything more humiliating in the entire world. I wanted to curl up in a hole and die. Adding insult to injury, a friend of Roth’s who was lingering around us, nodded toward Roth and said to me, “So you like him, huh?”

In attempt to salvage whatever miserly bit of self-respect I had left, I said, “Well, I don’t know him, so I can’t like him,but I do like his work.”

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