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Sisyphus at the Selectric

James Wolcott: Undoing Philip Roth, 20 May 2021

Philip Roth: The Biography 
by Blake Bailey.
Cape, 898 pp., £30, April, 978 0 224 09817 5
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Philip Roth: A Counterlife 
by Ira Nadel.
Oxford, 546 pp., £22.99, May, 978 0 19 984610 8
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Here We Are: My Friendship with Philip Roth 
by Benjamin Taylor.
Penguin, 192 pp., £18, May 2020, 978 0 525 50524 2
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... of the subtitle said: accept no substitutes. Another biography of Roth was in the offing, Ira Nadel’s Philip Roth: A Counterlife, a sizeable, solidly researched, intelligently wrought handful whose subtitle, as the journalist Judith Shulevitz noted, seemed to indicate an awareness of its also-ran status against the looming behemoth. Bailey’s ...

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