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28 June 2011

Words in pictures: Philip Roth

An interview with the winner of the 2011 Man Booker International Prize.

By Jonathan Derbyshire

In honour of the award to Philip Roth of the 2011 Man Booker Internation Prize, which will be celebrated at a ceremony in London this evening, here’s a video of the author being interviewed by Benjamin Taylor.

I blogged about the award – and the brief gust of controversy occasioned by judge Carmen Callil’s disowning of it – last month. I said then that The Counterlife (1986) was among my favourite of Roth’s many novels. He has some interesting things to say about that book here, especially about the role played in it by Roth’s authorial surrogate Nathan Zuckerman. It was only in that novel, Roth says, that he “began using [Zuckerman’s] intelligence usefully”. The way he used Zuckerman in The Counterlife, he goes on to suggest, was a kind of dry run for the extraordinary late trilogy of Zuckerman novels, American Pastoral (1997), I Married a Communist (1998) and The Human Stain (2000).

 

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