Philip Roth was born in Newark, Jersey on 19 March 1933 to Bess and Herman Roth. He attended Rutgers University (1950). He later transferred to Bucknell University as an English major, and earned a bachelor's degree there (1954). He also received a M.A. in English literature from the University of Chicago (1955). Roth was a novelist and short story writer. Among his more popular works were Goodbye Columbus (1960), Portnoy's Complaint (1969), and Zuckerman Unbound (1981). Roth also taught literature to college students at the University of Chicago (1956-1958), University of Iowa (1960-1962), Princeton University (1962-1964), State University of New York at Stony Brook (1967-1968), and University of Pennsylvania (1969-1991). He was a member of the U.S. Army for two years. Roth was a frequent contributor to magazines like The New Republic. He retired from teaching career in 1991 and from writing in 2012.
Roth's many honors include the National Book Award for Fiction (1959, 1975), Pulitzer Prize (1980, 1997, 1998), National Book Critics Circle Award (1986, 1991), PEN\Faulkner Award (1994, 2007, 2001), and the Ambassador Book Award for the English Speaking Union (1998). Some of his other honors include the National Medal of Arts (1998), France Priux du Meulleur Livre Etranger Award (2000), Franz Kafka Prize (2001), Gold Medal in Fiction (2001), and United Kingdom's WH Smith Literary Award (2001, 2005). He was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (2002), France Prix Medicis Etranger (2002), Sidewise Award for Alternate History (2005), and James Fennimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction (2005). He earned the PEN\Nabokov Award for Lifetime Achievement (2006), PEN\Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction (2007), Welt-Literaturepreis of the German newspaper Die Welt (2009), and National Humanities Medal (2010). Finally, his other notable achievements are the Paris Review Hadada Prize (2010), Prince of Austurias Awards for Literature (2012), PEN\Allen Foundation Literary Service Award for Lifetime Achievement and Advocacy (2013), and Commander of the Legion of Honor by the Republic of France (2013).
Roth was married twice to Margaret (1959) and actress, Claire Bloom (1981), but both marriages ended in divorce. Roth's brother Sandy was also part of the family.
Dead or Alive Info.
Philip Roth Society.
W. H. Smith Literary Award, Wikipedia.
Author: Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Alyssa Coleman, 11/8/2016
Stuart Wright collected and compiled the Philip Roth Papers. Wright was born on 30 March 1948 in Roxboro, North Carolina. He was the son of Frances Critcher Wright (1919-2010) and Wallace Lyndon Wright (1921-1965). An avid reader as a boy, Wright developed a strong interest in the American Civil War and with his father toured many of the war's battlefields searching for artifacts and studying the history of the era. At the age of 12, he won a statewide "Johnny Reb" essay contest and by the age of 15 had visited every major battlefield of the Civil War. Wright attended Roxboro High School, from which he graduated in 1966. It was during these years that he developed an interest in collecting historical books and manuscripts and began relationships with a number of local collectors and dealers.
In the fall of 1966, Wright enrolled at Wake Forest University as a pre-med, history, German and music student. Wright earned a B.A. in German and music in 1970. As a graduate student at Wake Forest University, Wright focused his studies on Southern history and literature, his ambition being to build an authoritative Southern Studies collection for the university. He received a master's degree in Southern Studies in 1973 and a second master's degree in U.S. History in 1980. Additionally Wright holds a professional degree from England in a medically related field. It was while studying there that he became interested in Thomas Wolfe, the noted North Carolina native and novelist.
Following his graduation from Wake Forest, Wright began to develop his collections more systematically, acquiring many first editions of Southern writers. In 1976 he began teaching at Reynolda House, a Wake Forest University affiliate dedicated to the arts and arts education. Wright taught classes in American music as well as human anatomy for art students. In 1978 Wright became Lecturer in Education at Wake Forest University. During his 10 years teaching at Wake Forest University, Wright authored numerous works of Civil War and North Carolina history, and dozens of articles, bibliographies, essays and reviews on Southern literature and the writers whose papers he collected. In addition, he developed a strong interest in the writings of the English poet Donald Davie and the Minnesota-born poet Richard Eberhart, whose works he also collected.
At the same time, Wright also began a career as a publisher by starting Palaemon Press in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. By 1984, Palaemon Press had produced 316 titles, consisting mainly of broadsides and limited editions, of the poetry and essays of such Southern writers as A. R. Ammons, Fred Chappell, James Dickey, William Goyen, George Garrett, and Eudora Welty. He also built comprehensive collections and compiled book-length descriptive bibliographies of A.R. Ammons, Andrew Lytle, Reynolds Price, James Dickey, William Goyen, Walker Percy, Randall Jarrell, Peter Taylor, George Garrett, Richard Eberhart, and Donald Davie. As well as serving as editor of the contemporary literature section of the Bulletin of Bibliography throughout the 1980s, Wright also contributed pioneering checklists of the writings of Southern poets Henry Taylor, Charles Wright, and Robert Morgan. For Meckler Publishing he served as series editor for a number of book-length bibliographies and checklists. In recognition of these accomplishments, when he was just 32, Wright was elected to membership in New York's prestigious Grolier Club.
All of these works are represented in the Stuart Wright Collection. In his dealings with these various authors Wright made consistent efforts to acquire personal papers, letters and documents, photographs, manuscripts, drafts, proofs, and published materials to supplement his continuing activities as a purchaser of their works. In this way, Wright acquired perhaps a majority of his overall collection. Over the years a number of biographers used Wright's collection to aid their research. For example, James A. Grimshaw, Jr. used the collection extensively for his Robert Penn Warren: A Descriptive Bibliography, 1922-1979 published by the University Press of Virginia, in 1981 and Craig S. Abbott did so as well for John Crowe Ransom: A Descriptive Bibliography, published by Whitston Publishing Company, Inc. in 1999. Joseph Blotner also used the Wright collection in researching Robert Penn Warren: A Biography, published by Random House in 1997.
Nevertheless, from the mid- to late 1980s, Wright began to look for a permanent home for his collection, which he felt had grown too large and yet had been too little used. Unable to find a repository willing to accept the entire collection under suitable conditions, he sold a number of individual author collections to Vanderbilt University, Duke University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Emory University. It was not until 2010 that he reached agreement to house the remaining, and largest part of his collection at East Carolina University. The Stuart Wright Collection in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection of J.Y. Joyner Library includes 22 sub-collections of the papers of Southern American writers. The related Stuart Wright Book Collection holds several thousand volumes by or about many of the same writers. Many of these volumes contain annotations, inscriptions, and insertions that reveal much about the authors in the collection and their relationships with one another. In 1998 Wright moved to England, and since 2001 he has resided in the medieval market town of Ludlow, in Shropshire.
Author: Jonathan Dembo, 11/2/2016