The Facts is the unconventional autobiography of a writer who has reshaped our idea of fiction—a work of compelling candor and inventiveness, instructive particularly in its revelation of the interplay between life and art.
Philip Roth concentrates on five episodes from his life: his secure city childhood in the thirties and forties; his education in American life at a conventional college; his passionate entanglement, as an ambitious young man, with the angriest person he ever met (the "girl of my dreams" Roth calls her); his clash, as a fledgling writer, with a Jewish establishment outraged by Goodbye, Columbus; and his discovery, in the excesses of the sixties, of an unmined side to his talent that led him to write Portnoy's Complaint.
The book concludes surprisingly—in true Rothian fashion—with a sustained assault by the novelist against his proficiencies as an autobiographer.
About the Author
Philip Roth was born in New Jersey in 1933. He studied literature at Bucknell University and the University of Chicago. His first book, "Goodbye, Columbus", won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1960. He has lived in Rome, London, Chicago, New York City, Princeton, and New England. Since 1955, he has been on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he is now Adjunct Professor of English. He is also General Editor of the Penguin Books series "Writers from the Other Europe." Recently he has been spending half of each year in Europe, traveling and writing.
"The Facts is a lively and serious version of a novelist's life." —Thomas R. Edwards, New York Review of Books
"A fine account of the origins of Roth's fiction—Philip Roth continues to be the most vigorous and truthful of American writers." —Phyllis Rose, Newsday