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In Conversation: Philip Roth (1933 - 2018)

From BBC Radio 3's archive, another opportunity to hear an interview with Philip Roth (1933 - 2018), author of books including Portnoy's Complaint & American Pastoral.

From BBC Radio 3's archive, another opportunity to hear an interview with Philip Roth (1933 - 2018), author of books including Portnoy's Complaint & American Pastoral.

Recorded in New York in 2008, Philip Roth talked to Philip Dodd about his life and work and about his 29th book Indignation.

The Pulitzer Prize winning Roth has been called provocative, playful and angry and many of his themes remained consistent since he began writing in the late 1950’s. He and his fictional alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman, cast an often satirical eye over post World War America, notably with a string of now classic late novels such as I Married a Communist, American Pastoral, The Human Stain and The Plot against America.

The novel Indignation is set in 1951, the second year of the Korean War, and tells the story of the son of a kosher butcher who escapes a crushing New Jersey Jewish environment to attend a conservative College in Ohio. It is a tale about work and careers, about sexual discovery, anti-Semitism, families and the bizarre nature of fate and memory.

In this interview Philip Roth talks about the role of fiction in his life and about his own impact on America. He describes the attraction of mixing fiction with elements of autobiography and about the expectations people have of the writer. He talks about sex, the male body, the ageing process and about his enduring need to write.

Presenter: Philip Dodd

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45 minutes

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