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Reader’s Den

Reader's Den: About the Author Spotlight on Philip Roth


I hope that all of you are enjoying reading The Human Stain. For this week, I thought it might be fun to take a brief time out and learn a little more about the author of this month's pick, Philip Roth.

The author of over 20 novels, several short stories, memoirs, and various other forms of fiction, Philip Roth has been described as one of the most prolific authors of his generation. A Newark, New Jersey native of Jewish-American descent, a majority of Roth's work is semi-autobiographical in nature. The character of Nathan Zuckerman, who is featured in The Human Stain, is largely thought to be a fictional representation of Roth himself. His work also serves as a commentary on the times that we live in. The Human Stain, for example, takes place in the late 1990s during the political scandal involving President Bill Clinton. Coleman Silk, who deals heavily with themes of reinventing oneself and hidden identity, serves as a literary allegory for Clinton.

In order to learn more about Philip Roth, I recommend using the database the Biography Resource Center. This is a great database that aggregates several larger print sources that focus on famous figures. Currently, there are 8 entries specifically for Philip Roth. You can access this database by clicking on Find Books, DVDs & More at the top of the page, then clicking Articles & Databases to the left side of the screen. You'll find the Biography Resource Center alphabetically with the Bs.

If you want to learn a little bit more about any of Philip Roth's works, including The Human Stain, I recommend using the book-themed database Fiction Connection. You can find this database using the same process as the previous database, but under the letter F alphabetically.


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I had no idea

Roth is from NJ! Enlightening. Thanks for the background intel.

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