Posts From Author: philip roth

Seriously Questioning…Boris Fishman

Boris Fishman was born in Minsk, Belarus. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Travel + Leisure, the London Review of Books, New York magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian, among other publications. He is the author of the novels A Replacement Life, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and winner of the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the American Library Association’s Sophie Brody Medal, and Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo, which was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and his newest book Savage Feast: Three Generations, Two Continents, and Dinner Table (A Memoir with Recipes). On May 21, he will be speaking at House of SpeakEasy’s Seriously Entertaining show, The Root of it All, alongside Damian Barr, Eve Ensler, and Kevin Young.  We spoke to Boris ahead of the show. What is your earliest memory involving reading or writing? A small bedroom in Minsk, Belarus, in 1980-something. Writing desk, fold-out bed, Persian carpet on the wall, Persian carpet on the floor. On all fours over the latter, yours truly mesmerized by the sports pages of Nedelya (The […]
Read More

Adam Rapp: “I don’t think parents take too well to my books…”

Adam Rapp is one of those polymaths you read about. A playwright, novelist, musician, screenwriter, director, basketball player… He’s written a couple dozen plays, including Pulitzer Prize finalist Red Light Winter (2006); The Metal Children (2010), which starred Billy Crudup in its New York premiere; and Nocturne (2001), an icy portrait of grief which prompted Variety to label Rapp one to watch “with keen interest”. His books fall into both the young adult and adult-adult categories. They include The Year of Endless Sorrows (2006); 33 Snowfish, a tale of sexual abuse that the American Library Association chose as one of its 2004 highlights; and Under the Wolf, Under the Dog (2004), which was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and winner of the Schneider Family Book Award. The Children and the Wolves, published in 2012, is a particularly intense brew. The writing is by turns visceral and tender. Take Wiggins, who emerges as the central character: Sometimes I imagine myself in a pickle jar, floating in science juice. Barely alive with see-through skin. My heart like a little white raisin. But later: I imagine a soul is a little perfect crystal egg floating in your chest. Somewhere deeper than […]
Read More

Don’t Throw Momma From The Train

I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country. So wrote President Wilson on May 9, 1914, a hundred years ago today, marking the institution of Mother’s Day in the US (read the full proclamation here). It came about through the sweat of one Anna Jarvis, moved by her own mother’s death to campaign for wider recognition of the role of mothers in society. Later, as the holiday became increasingly commercial, she came to regret her exertions and mounted a series of spirited attacks on those who sought to exploit it for profiteering or fundraising, including Eleanor Roosevelt. She lost: according to the National Geographic, Americans will spend nearly $20 billion on mom this year. According to Hallmark, it falls behind only Christmas and Valentine’s Day in terms of greetings […]
Read More