Posts by: Ben Shattuck

Philip Roth at His Old “Jewing Grounds”

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I can’t think of anybody I’d be more intimidated to interview than Philip Roth. He won the National Book Award at twenty-seven and later the Pulitzer; he has thirty books under his belt and has become throbbing heart of American literati.

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Batuman’s Kafka

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Franz Kafka, a hunch-backed best friend, a violated will, an escape from Nazis, ten safe-deposit boxes spanning two countries, smuggled papers, missing letters, fifty feet of files, four Israeli lawyers, and ‘an untold number’ (40-100) of cats: the eighty-six-years-worth the characters in the journey of Kafka’s unpublished work. In what reads like a detective story, […]

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English Authors Offended By the Present Tense

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England: land of quibblers. Some of the nation’s top writers are at the throat of the present tense. Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, said, “I just don’t read present-tense novels any more. It’s a silly affectation, in my view, and it does nothing but annoy.”

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