Philip Roth at 80: A Celebration
(Remarks delivered on the occasion of Philip Roth's 80th birthday)
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On March 19, 2013, a distinguished group of writers and critics gathered at the Newark Museum's Billy Johnson Auditorium in Newark, New Jersey, to celebrate the extraordinary career and lasting literary legacy of Philip Roth on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Now, The LIbrary of America presents this special commemorative volume gathering remarks from the evening's speakers, including Roth, a fitting tribute to the only living novelist whose work is collected in the Library of America series. Here, presented in the order of the evening's program, is Jonathan Lethem, hilariously recounting his first consciousness-raising encounter with Roth's work through the Kafkaesque novel The Breast; Hermione Lee, tracing the Shakespearian themes in Roth's books, from Portnoy's Complaint to The Humbling; Alain Finkielkraut, offering a deep reading of Roth's final novel, Nemesis; Claudia Roth Pierpont, assessing Roth's portrayal of women in such books as Sabbath's Theater and The Human Stain; Edna O'Brien, recalling her long friendship with Roth; and the author himself, offering a quintessentially Rothian valediction.