Novelist: Philip Roth

He has delighted and infuriated readers for four decades. And as his recent novels show, he's still in command

Writers, like the rest of us, are entitled to slow down when they approach retirement age. What Philip Roth did, as he began anticipating the popularly euphemistic Golden Years, was to gun his engine and rev out in rapid succession three of the strongest, most vibrant novels of his long career.

American Pastoral (1997) examines the fallout from the radical '60s on one New Jersey family, specifically on the suffering father of an unrepentant terrorist daughter. I Married a Communist (1998), set during the witch hunts of the late '40s and early '50s, traces that era's devastating effects on a naive...

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