He is surely one of our most productive and most respected novelists, and yet he has begun to seem to me a writer in competition with his own fiction.
L et us take up the matter of prose style. This time, the plot against America worked. Why not go for it?
That is one way of confronting a reality that seems ludicrous to its core. A hell of an understatement. It was soothing, like a cross between an 85 percent chance of a refreshing late-summer rain and Hillary somehow polling at 85 percent of likely voters, though not even Pam could come up with a plausible explanation for the source of the number.
But with a writer like Roth, fantasy and reality are intertwined — we think we know his life story through the stories he created. Novels should teach us how to appreciate the art of telling a story, and how to listen when one is being told. He openly and brazenly challenged notions, niceties and stereotypes not only held by most of America, but also by his own people.
The most consistent quality of her books is a desire to flout rules.
First came the letters to the editor, then there was a phone call from the Anti-Defamation League to the magazine, and before long, rabbis were decrying Roth in synagogues.