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Philip Roth tribute to be held in his native New Jersey

January 11, 2023 Hillel Italie, Associated Press
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Authors Ottessa Moshfegh and Susan Choi and actors John Turturro and Mary-Louise Parker will be among dozens of featured guests at a Philip Roth tribute in the late novelist’s New Jersey hometown.

“Philip Roth Unbound” — a reference to Roth’s novel “Zuckerman Unbound” — will run in Newark the weekend of March 17-19, around the time Roth would have turned 90. The Pulitzer Prize-winner died in 2018 at age 85.

Presented by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, in collaboration with the Newark Public Library, “Philip Roth Unbound” will include a reading of his dystopian bestseller “The Plot Against America,” a preview of a stage adaptation of “Sabbath’s Theater,” co-presented by Turturro and Ariel Levy, and debates on censorship and other issues Roth often contended with in his lifetime.

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“Over the last 75 years, Philip Roth was one of the most singular and challenging voices in American fiction,” NJPAC CEO John Schreiber said in a statement released Tuesday.

“And while the Newark of Roth’s youth has transformed, its essential qualities remain — innovation, creativity and grit. In presenting ‘Philip Roth Unbound’ we have the opportunity to invite patrons into a unique and vibrant environment of discussion and examination, not only of a writer’s life and work, but of Newark and the nation as well,” the statement said.

Highlights also include a Roth-centered bus tour of Newark; “Stand-up and Challah!,” featuring readings of Roth’s most comical writing; and “Letting the Repellent In: Philip Roth and the Art of Outrage,” billed as “a provocative panel on the cathartic power of discomfort.”

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