My novel "AN INCIDENT IN THE FAMILY" was selected for a site called "HowLongToReadThis.com." The site is helpful for people about to travel on airplanes and wanting to plan their reading.
MORE ON PHILIP ROTH from CYNTHIA OZIK.
CYNTHIA OZIK (The novelist David Foster Wallace called Ozick one of the greatest living American writers) wrote a defining eulogy about PHILIP ROTH in The Wall Street Journal - C14. Here is a partial:
“Let us praise the Nobel committee for its honorific omission, this majestic absence that joins Philip Roth to Mark Twain, James Joyce and Tolstoy. . . .It may be that the Nobel was never worthy of this iconoclastic satirist, wily cultural historian, sublime fictive ranter, comic tragedian, outraged citizen, contradictory wit, epic insulter and monumental imaginer. How should those obtuse northland jurors, denizens of a frost-bitten society highly ranked for alcoholism and suicide, warm to the emotional temperature of the postwar Jewish Weequahic neighborhood of Newark, N.J., out of which the grandson of immigrants might emerge to become one of the most renowned American literary masters of his century?"
I have begun re-reading Roth's masterpiece THE AMERICAN PASTORAL.
Philip Roth said he writes for himself, not any specific reader(s).
Roth had held back in previous writings, but he realized that he could let out all the stops. And he did.
PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT catapulted Roth to instant fame. Everyone wanted to read such a revelatory novel about a young man coming of age with his sexuality. Remember though, Roth wrote for himself, not an audience.
I also follow this path. Recently I reconsidered part of THE PROVIDER. For those of you who read the novel, I ask you to reconsider the following. The Americanized couple, Vivian and her husband, who were childless, could have set up a trust fund for the Voronov children. Later, in Sanya's desperation to succeed, he could have "borrowed" that fund and invested it in the real estate scheme that brought him down. His heart attack could have been the result of this tragedy. BUT I could not do that to my father's memory. I wrote that novel to please myself.