Philip Roth tribute to be held in his native New Jersey

NEW YORK (AP) — 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.

“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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