Roth Unbound

Claudia Roth Pierpont will join us to discuss Roth Unbound, her fascinating study of Philip Roth’s creative life. More than a biography, Roth Unbound is the exploration of a great writer through his art, and offers a wealth of previously undisclosed biographical details and unpublished material.

Claudia Roth Pierpont has known Roth for nearly a decade. Her carefully researched and gracefully written account is filled with remarks from Roth himself, drawn from their ongoing conversations. Here are insights and anecdotes that will change the way many readers perceive this most controversial and galvanizing writer: a young and unhappily married Roth struggling to write; a wildly successful Roth, after the uproar over Portnoy, working to help writers from Eastern Europe and to get their books known in the West; Roth responding to the early, Jewish-and the later, feminist-attacks on his work. Here are Roth’s family, his inspirations, his critics, the full range of his fiction, and his friendships with such figures as Saul Bellow and John Updike. Here is Roth at work and at play.

In English. Free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary.

Claudia Roth Pierpont has been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1990 and became a staff writer in 2004. The subjects of her articles have ranged from the Ballets Russes to the Chrysler Building, from the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche to that of Mae West.

A collection of eleven of Pierpont’s New Yorker essays, Passionate Minds: Women Rewriting the World, was published in 2000. Nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, the book juxtaposes the lives and works of women writers, including Hannah Arendt, Gertrude Stein, Anaïs Nin, Margaret Mitchell, and Zora Neale Hurston. Pierpont has been the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers of the New York Public Library. She lives in New York City.