British Association for American Studies


CFP: Special Issue of Philip Roth Studies: “Other People’s Roths”

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CFP: Special Issue of Philip Roth Studies: “Other People’s Roths”

February 1, 2016

Philip Roth’s work has always invited speculation about the relationship between the author’s own life and that of his fictional protagonists. From Portnoy’s Complaint, which Roth claimed was “a novel in the guise of a confession that was received … as a confession in the guise of a novel” to Operation Shylock, a novel that Roth insisted was actually a confession, to The Plot Against America, in which Roth reinvented a counterhistory for his family, Roth’s career might be read as a series of “improvisations upon a self” or, as Debra Shostak has put it, of “counterlives and countertexts.” For many years the critical discourse on Roth was dominated by debate about these versions of himself, and more recently the division of his oeuvre into categories that include “Zuckerman books,” “Kepesh books,” and “Roth books” has led to a renewed focus on these protagonists as alter egos and surrogate selves. In contrast, there has been very little work done on the representation of Roth by others. Yet versions of Roth have appeared in a number of novels (for example Janet Hobhouse’s The Furies [1992], Alan Lelchuk’s Ziff: A Life? [2002], and David Baddiel’s The Death of Eli Gold [2010]), in biographies and memoirs (by writers such as Al Alvarez, Claudia Roth Pierpont, and David Plante), in movies (such as Woody Allen’s Deconstructing Harry [1997] and Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up, Philip [2014]), and in documentaries (such as Philip Roth Unmasked [2013] and Philip Roth Unleashed [2014]). He has had his work illustrated by Philip Guston and has been represented visually in work by artists such as R.B. Kitaj and graphic novelists such as Miriam Libicki and Anya Ulinich. Six of his books have been adapted for the screen, with two more (American Pastoral and Indignation) due for release in 2016, and his work has been translated into over thirty languages.

The editors of Philip Roth Studies invite submissions for a special issue of the journal devoted to “Other People’s Roths.”  They are interested in essays that explore any aspect of either the representation of (versions of) Roth in any medium, or adaptations, translations, and appropriations of his work in any forM . Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to the executive editors of the journal, David Brauner and Debra Shostak, at philiprothstudies@gmail.com by February 1 2016. Final drafts of essays will need to be submitted by September 1 2016.


February 1, 2016
Event Category:


Philip Roth Studies
David Brauner and Debra Shostak, at philiprothstudies@gmail.com