Philip Roth - tendency of Oct 22

Philip Roth

Information about Philip Roth

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Philip Roth was born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 19, 1933, and grew up in its Weequahic neighborhood. He was the second child of Bess (née Finkel) and Herman Roth, an insurance broker. Roth's family was Jewish, and his parents were second-generation Americans. Roth's father's parents came from Kozlov near Lviv / Lemberg in Galicia; his mother's ancestors were from the region of Kiev. He graduated from Newark's Weequahic High School in or around 1950. As Arnold H. Lubasch wrote in the New York Times in 1969, "It has provided the focus for the fiction of Philip Roth, the novelist who evokes his era at Weequahic High School in the highly acclaimed Portnoy's Complaint. . . . Besides identifying Weequahic High School by name, the novel specifies such sites as the Empire Burlesque, the Weequahic Diner, the Newark Museum and Irvington Park, all local landmarks that helped shape the youth of the real Roth and the fictional Portnoy, both graduates of Weequahic class of '50. " The Weequahic Yearbook (1950) describes Roth as "A boy of real intelligence, combined with wit and common sense. " He was known as a comedian during his time at school. Roth attended Rutgers University in Newark for a year, then transferred to Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where he earned a B. A. , magna cum laude in English and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received a scholarship to attend the University of Chicago, where he earned an M. A. in English literature in 1955 and worked briefly as an instructor in the university's writing program. That same year, rather than wait to be drafted, Roth enlisted in the army, but he suffered a back injury during basic training and was given a medical discharge. He returned to Chicago in 1956 to study for a PhD in Literature but dropped out after one term. Roth taught creative writing at the University of Iowa and Princeton University. He later continued his academic career at the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught comparative literature before retiring from teaching in 1991. Between the end of his studies and the publication of his first book in 1959, Roth served two years in the United States Army and then wrote short fiction and criticism for various magazines, including movie reviews for The New Republic.