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The Facts : A Novelist’s Autobiography


How does a novelist write about the facts of his life after spending years fictionalising those facts with irrepressible daring and originality? What becomes of ‘the facts’ after they have been smelted down for art’s sake? In The Facts – Philip Roth’s idiosyncratic autobiography – we find out. Focusing on five episodes in his life, Roth gives a portrait of his secure city childhood in Newark, through to his first marriage, clashes with the Jewish establishment over Goodbye, Columbus and his writing of Portnoy’s Complaint. In true Rothian style, his fictional self Nathan Zuckerman is allowed the final, coruscating word of reply.


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