The Facts: A Novelist's Autobiography

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Random House, Jun 8, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
14 Reviews

The Facts is the unconventional autobiography of a writer who has reshaped our idea of fiction - a work of compelling candour and inventiveness, instructive particularly in its revelation of the interplay between life and art.

Philip Roth concentrates on five episodes from this life: his secure city childhood in the thirties and forties; his education in American life at a conventional college in the fifties; his passionate entanglement, as an ambitious young man, with the angriest person he ever met (the 'girl of my dreams' Roth calls her); his clash, as a fledgling writer, with a Jewish establishment outraged by Goodbye, Columbus; and his discovery, in the excesses of the sixties, of an unmined side to his talent that led him to write Portnoy's Complaint.

The book concludes surprisingly - in true Rothian fashion - with a sustained assault by the novelist against his proficiencies as an autobiographer.

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Review: The Facts

User Review  - Alex - Goodreads

"You try to pass off here as frankness what looks to me like the dance of the seven veils-what's on the page is like a code for something missing," writes Roth's fictional creation Zuckerman in the ... Read full review

Review: The Facts

User Review  - -- - Goodreads

An autobiographical writer's only straight autobiography, written when he was 55. And there is very little here: about five scenes, as it were, each of different periods in his life ("Safe at Home ... Read full review

About the author (2011)

In 1997, Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction, previously awarded to John Dos Passos, William Faulkner and Saul Bellow, among others. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians' Prize for "the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004."

Recently Roth received PEN's two most prestigious prizes: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award 'for a body of work...of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship' and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American Fiction, given to a writer whose 'scale of achievement over a sustained career...places him or her in the highest rank of American literature.'

Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. The last of the eight volumes is scheduled for publication in 2013.

Bibliographic information