The 5 Most Elegiac Lines in Claudia Roth Pierpont's Elegy to Philip Roth

by Carly Cody | October 18, 2013

Claudia Roth Pierpont is not related to Philip Roth. But you wouldn't know it from her newly published authorized biograpy, Roth Unbound, which will be published October 22. The book is a thorough, intensive, elegant reflection on Roth's career—and it is also so complimentary that one might at times forget that Roth did not write it himself. For example:

1.) "Not since Henry James … has an American novelist worked at such a sustained pitch of concentration and achievement." 

2.) "Although the sophisticated writer hardly resembles the insurance salesman, there are many instances in which Roth seems also to be writing about himself: stories of Herman Roth's zest, his discipline, his doggedness."

3.) "Roth has never been afraid of risk. He hadn't been afraid of anything, really, since The Counterlife, after which his freedom as a writer just seemed to keep growing."

4.) "Roth is a master of the rapturous list."

5.) "He championed the social and sexual freedom of women no less than he did that of men. Indeed, in his scheme of things, the freedom of men depended on women also being free. Surely that was clear if one read his books with an open mind, unimpeded by contemporary cant."

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