In the continuing effort to reveal just how uncool I am in literary circles, let me admit that I have yet to read a Philip Roth novel or short story. Perhaps my prudish nature caused me to avoid an author whose subject or at least subtext is often sexual desire. Or perhaps going to high school and college in Central Indiana I was simply unaware of the importance of a cosmopolitan Jewish author like Roth. After all I didn’t read Bellow either.
The reason I bring this up is that Mr. Roth turns 71 today. For those who like me are seeking more information, The Philip Roth Society has a nice short bio. For those of you who have read Roth or are familiar with his body of work, what book would you start with? Would you start with perhaps his most famous work Portnoy’s Complaint or perhaps the more recent American Pastoral? Or perhaps a lesser know work? Heck, maybe you aren’t a fan and think it would be better to just skip Roth altogether? Anyway, I would be interested to know what people think of Mr. Roth so feel free to weigh in.