American Writers Select Their Favorite Philip Roth Works

Philip Roth pic
Philip Roth

A respected presence in the Southern California television literary representation sphere, Ryan Ly serves as the principal of Curate Entertainment and focuses on programs that combine popularity with character development. An avid reader, Ryan Ly has particular admiration for literary legend Philip Roth, who had a career spanning more than half a century.

Following Roth’s passing in early 2018, The New York Times reached out to numerous authors to pick their personal favorite works by Roth. The answers were as varied as the books themselves, with Joyce Carol Oates choosing his “tender, yet unyielding” memoir Patrimony and noting that as Roth’s career progressed he became a “performance-artist in prose” who excelled in creating voices to whom readers felt attached.

Michiko Kakutani selected American Pastoral, which she described as a work in which Roth left his usual “mirror games” behind and attempted to define the arc of U.S. history between World War II and the Vietnam War. Through this endeavor, he was able to create an expansive landscape that explored the contemporary male psyche while revealing “historical discontinuities” that impact the present.

Stephen King also selected American Pastoral as his favorite and lauded its unforgettable characters and “muscular storytelling,” which paired a limited scope with epic ambition.

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