Jennifer Gilmore smiles

Jennifer Gilmore

In a piece for Forward, Jennifer Gilmore, assistant professor of English, reviews Blake Bailey’s Philip Roth, The Biography, a nearly 900-page biography about the famous American novelist.

Her writing offers a sharp critique of not only what Bailey writes, but also what he omits—”very little that examines Roth’s actual work,” “no comment on the way women provide material,” “no comment on the way Roth called in favors.” For Gilmore, these omissions are costly.

“In Philip Roth, The Biography you won’t hear the true brilliance of Philip Roth, who in his time was a radical voice in American fiction, a Jewish one that didn’t use faith as a reason or the Holocaust as an excuse. There is no doubt that Roth’s singular voice changed the American landscape of fiction. You just won’t read about what that felt like or sounded like here,” she writes in the piece.

Gilmore is the author of The Mothers, which is being adapted into a film, and If Only.

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