Latest Issue

Unmistakably Rothian

Roth's latest bravura work reinforces his status as American master, but it also exposes his long-standing predisposition for improvisation over planning

By Erik Tarloff   November 2004

It is not clear when precisely it happened, but at some point while our backs were turned Philip Roth seems to have metamorphosed from enfant terrible into old master. This one-time Peck’s bad boy of American letters, who first made a name for himself with Goodbye, Columbus in 1959 when he was still in his mid-twenties, has become one of only three living writers whose oeuvre is being published in a canonical, multi-volume Library of America edition (the other two being Saul Bellow and John Updike). He enjoys the enviably unassailable reputation that sustains a writer through good books and…

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

More From Prospect