Magazine
Latest Issue

Masters of disgrace

Philip Roth and JM Coetzee are very different writers with a lot in common: their hard visions of life, their interest in sexual transgression and their tendency to put themselves in their novels. Moreover, with age, their visions are getting closer

By William Skidelsky   November 2007

Discuss this article at First Drafts, Prospect’s blog

Novelists, Martin Amis once wrote, are at their best in middle age. “They come good at 30, they peak at 50… at 70, novelists are ready to be kicked upstairs.” But the creative arc is less predictable than this. Some novelists—Amis is an example—produce their best work before the bloom of youth has quite faded; others retain their powers until late in life. Two novelists who have been ageing well recently are Philip Roth (born 1933) and JM Coetzee (born 1940), both of whom have new books out this autumn. Aside from…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect