Saturday, September 13, 2008

Roth Retires?

Library of America Publishing Schedule Reveals Roth's Retirement?

Having finished Philip Roth's new novel, Indignation, I came upon the About the Author page at the end of the volume. The final sentence, in reference to the Library of America editions of Roth's writings: "The last of the eight volumes is scheduled for publication in 2013."

The key word in that sentence is 'scheduled' (things can easily change) but if that date is accurate, it would mean Roth's last work would be published in 2012 or early 2013. At his current pace - one novel each year - that means Roth is down to four, maybe five, novels. Of course, as someone who admires Roth's novels a great deal - and I can only offer uncritical praise for Indignation - this news is not welcome but understood: Roth is 75. By 2013, he'll be 80.

(Note: I'm not sure if that 2013 date had been known before Indignation was published but it's the first I've seen it.)

I don't have much of a review for Indignation (other than go read it), but Ron Charles enjoyed it:
Copies of Indignation, Philip Roth's ferocious little tale, ought to be handed out on college campuses along with condoms and tetanus shots. This cathartic story might vent some of the volatile self-righteousness that can consume the lives of passionate young people (and, yes, old people too). It's not that it breaks any new ground; the author's favorite themes are all here -- the comic sexual frustration of Portnoy's Complaint, the assimilation anxieties of the Zuckerman books, the enraged grievance of The Human Stain-- but with Indignation, Roth presents his most concentrated parable of self-destructive fury.
Also the LA Times has an interview with Roth: here.

And according to the all knowledgeable Wikipedia, Roth's next novel, to be released next year, is called The Humbling.



Anonymous said...

I think the L of A words only refer to the already-scheduled
L of A. volumes.

If Roth continues living and writing, there will be later L Of A volumes scheduled.

Anonymous said...

"I want to have a big long project that will occupy me until my death," Mr. Roth says, his big eyes shining, his expression so deadpan it may or may not be ironic.

"I'm ready for it. I have a 25-year book. And when I'm 100, I will hand it in and then lie down in darkness."

Czobit said...

Good to hear. I'll continue to read Roth so long as he continues to write.