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Philip Roth Society founder to speak at Lehigh

Derek Parker Royal

Derek Parker Royal, assistant English professor at Texas A&M University-Commerce and founder of the Philip Roth Society, will present a public talk on the work of the renowned novelist at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 in Room 480 of Maginnes Hall.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is being sponsored by the Berman Center for Jewish Studies and Lehigh’s Creative Writing Program.

Titled “Philip Roth: Jewish American Novelist?” the talk will examine Roth’s unease with being labeled a “Jewish writer” and the ethnic definitions of authorship.

Though Roth is considered one of the most lyrical—as well as most notorious—chroniclers of Jewish life in America, he offered a provocative comment when he received the National Book Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2002.

“I have never thought of myself, for the length of a single sentence, as an American Jewish or a Jewish American writer,” Roth said at the time, leading scholars such as Royal to examine a series of statements made by Roth that underscored that sentiment.

Royal is the executive editor of the journal Philip Roth Studies and editor of “Philip Roth: New Perspectives on an American Author.” His essays on American literature have appeared in such journals as Contemporary Literature, Studies in American Jewish Fiction, Modern Fiction Studies, and Shofar.

For more information on the lecture, call (610) 758-3352.

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Friday, October 13, 2006

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