By February 26, 2007 4 Comments Read More →

Philip Roth Three-peats the PEN/Faulkner

Philip Roth has won the 2007 PEN/Faulkner award for fiction, for Everyman. He’s the first writer to have won it three times. (He also won for The Human Stain [2001] and Operation Shylock [1994].) From the Washington Post (“For Roth, a 3rd PEN/Faulkner Win, by Bob Thompson”):

Roth’s novel tells the story of the physical decline and death of its unnamed protagonist. “What hit me so hard about ‘Everyman’ was its intensity, and its systematic, pitiless stripping away of false comforts — and then real comforts,” said David Gates, one of the three writers who served as judges. “The only comfort for the reader is that Roth has faced such terrifying truths absolutely straight, and made even this devastating material into a thing of beauty.”

I haven’t read it yet, but it sounds like a great double feature with The Road. Roth has now won so many awards that he can afford to be discriminating about them:

“I’m delighted,” he said in a telephone interview. The PEN/Faulkner is a gratifying award, he said, because over the years “there just seems to be a consistency to the quality of the winners.”

“Unlike some of those other awards I’ve won,” he added, rolling his eyes.



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

4 Comments on "Philip Roth Three-peats the PEN/Faulkner"

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  1.' maggie says:

    I had a little trouble with Everyman. I didn’t think Roth’s everyman was a fair representation of America’s everyman. I went back and read the play, too.

    Everyman must die, yea, yea, but not all are so damned to his everyman’s pessimism. He should have named the book One Man, or better yet, Roth.

    I also know what Roth would think of my comment. He would attack the religious angle I’m possibly danglin’, but I’m not even thinking religion. He successfully shows humanity through his everyman, but misses humankinds need for hope, b/c he would think it religious poppy-cock. Man needs hope and he can certainly hope he will make great fertilizer for the next generations…

    I know, I know. I’m kooky commentor and I need to save it for the book club. 🙂

  2. Keir says:

    I know I bring The Road into everything, but still, I thought McCarthy did a great job of — at the moment when the reader feels the author has stripped away the last vestige of hope — giving us a little glimmer that all is not lost.

    How about EveryRoth?

  3.' maggie says:

    Yes! EveryRoth! ;D

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