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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Just Give The Man A Nobel, Already

In the New Statesman, A.S. Byatt praises Philip Roth's new novella:

"Roth's Everyman is a brief and uncompromising account of one man's death. He is nameless, though his family, wives, children and lovers are named. The book opens with his funeral, and ends with the moment of his death on the operating table...Roth's writing looks uncompromisingly straightforward but is subtle and clever....Roth works with things, not with symbols or metaphors, but he chooses them craftily. ...A human story for our times."

In the past, Roth has cleverly reworked the seminal moments of his life into his fiction, be they the attacks by the American-Jewish establishment, or his failed relationship with Margaret Martinson. In the evening of his life, it looks like he's done the same, choosing as his subject the human body and its waning with age. His new book sounds grim and autumnal; one can't wait to get one's hands on it.


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