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Will 8 Roth Volumes Be Enough?

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Feb 7, 2011, 2:36pm Top

I am just reading Roth for the first time thanks to the newest volume arriving at my door as part of my subscription and I have noticed something while catching up on his general bio, work output, etc. The articles discussing the LOA arrangement state that the Roth series will have a total of 8 volumes and we now know what the first 7 of the volumes contain (7th just announced on the blog). It appears that if there is a single volume left, it would need to publish 8 books (if Roth were to stop writing today). Even taking into account that four of these are part of his "short novels" series, it seems to me that LOA will not be able to complete its collection of his works in the 8 volumes. I am not sure if a complete collection was the goal, but I imagine it must have been.

I imagine that such details are to be worked out for his "final writings," but I was curious if anyone had heard that this deal will be extended to include all his works?

Feb 7, 2011, 2:54pm Top

We originally had secured the rights for his works to date, to fill eight volumes. Then he went on a writing spree and now the plan is for nine volumes.


Feb 7, 2011, 2:58pm Top

Great David, thanks for the quick update! I assumed the 9th would be necessary, just didn't know if it was already taken care of or not.

Feb 14, 2011, 11:28pm Top

David, that's great to hear. I hope he's around lot longer that you'll have to push it to 10 volumes. Does anyone know if he non-fic book Shop Talk will be part of any future volume?

Mar 25, 2011, 1:46pm Top

Long Live Mr. Roth! Hopefully a tenth volume will indeed be necessary.

May 18, 2011, 10:20am Top

Aug 25, 2011, 1:53pm Top

David, any updates now that the 7th volume is upon us? Will the 9th volume collect the uncollected short stories listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibliography_of_Philip_Roth#Short_stories_and_revie...

Aug 29, 2011, 11:38am Top

The eight and ninth volumes are currently slated for Spring 2013 and will include his last seven novels. This will complete the publication of his book-length fiction.

Roth continues to write essays, introductions, and other short pieces, and it is possible/probable that we will publish a volume collecting much of this material, including uncollected early stories, reviews, essays, and a sample of interviews, in a later volume. The Wikipedia list is not remotely complete; there is in fact enough material for a substantial (and separate) LOA volume.

Aug 29, 2011, 12:57pm Top

That's amazing news! Hopefully that does come to pass, a supplemental tenth volume. Roth's complete works wouldn't be complete without it. I didn't write the Wikipedia article, but I think it's based on some other list from the Philip Roth Society.

Nov 30, 2011, 6:52pm Top

Roth has another book due in May 2012, a memoir, Notes For My Biographer: http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/hmh/site/hmhbooks/bookdetails?isbn=978054789...

Edited: Jun 20, 2012, 11:25pm Top

Apparently, Notes For My Biographer never came to fruition. But, good news, the last two volumes of this series will be published on January 24, 2013 - just after my birthday!

Volume 8: Novels 2001-2007 (The Dying Animal, The Plot Against America, Exit Ghost)
Volume 9: Nemeses (Everyman, Indignation, The Humbling, Nemesis)


Edited: Oct 12, 2012, 4:17pm Top

Oct 14, 2012, 12:25pm Top

>12 PabloPablum:

Another piece on the Roth v. Wikipedia affair that I found extremely interesting:


Oct 16, 2012, 10:20am Top

I think that yahoo misses part of the point. They defend Wikipedia's policy requiring a source with a citation-- fair enough, citations are good. But, they also imply that Roth is a cranky old man who complained because he didn't know how wikipedia works. I don't think that this is the case; I would argue that is exactly why Roth published his complaint--it is now an "official" source that can be cited to fix the issue...

Oct 16, 2012, 12:14pm Top

>15 ptdixon:

Good point. Hadn't thought about that.

Nov 9, 2012, 9:55pm Top

>17 PabloPablum:. Considering his age, I'm not surprised, but I thought he would publish at least one more book.

Nov 10, 2012, 11:46am Top

So the two volumes out in January will really be it. Hopefully there's a tenth volume somewhere down the road where all of Roth's short stories and miscellaneous pieces are collected, like that recent New Yorker piece about Wikipedia.

Jan 4, 2013, 11:08am Top

Seems the two Roth volumes were pushed back a few weeks. Oh well.

Edited: Feb 8, 2013, 12:17pm Top

Just received the two new Roth volumes. Great having them all now on the shelf, beautiful stuff! Here's hoping for Volume 10: Short Stories and Essays :)

Feb 9, 2013, 4:54pm Top

I'm looking forward to acquiring Nemeses. Strangely enough I purchased my first Roth volume only recently, American Trilogy which remains unread. A sign of being too busy doing work stuff, alas.

Feb 10, 2013, 3:22am Top

And so, embarassed by my last post, I have read chapter one today of I married a communist. Loving it.

May 8, 2013, 6:45am Top

Back into Roth again after finishing a couple of other titles.

May 18, 2013, 4:57pm Top

... and loved my inaugural Roth read I married a communist. For me a book about revenge, love, exploration, relationships and normative ethics.
I wonder now was Roth's Johnny O'Day accurate in his final summation of Ira?

May 21, 2013, 12:33pm Top

How about going in chronological order with Roth?

May 21, 2013, 5:09pm Top

>29 PabloPablum:
In the American trilogy I married a communist Is the second book and I believe Zuckerman is in all three, but isn't the Vietnam story first, then The aforesaid?

Oct 30, 2013, 11:54am Top

I just read a rather lengthy article about Philip Roth and several of his literary freindships, most notably Saul Bellow and John Updike, in an early October New Yorker. I never had much desire to read Roth, but after reading the article I thought I might give him a try. I bring this up in this group because there were several mentions of the Roth bio in the back of the LOA versions leading into discussions of his freindships. Good to see LOA being taken seriously.

Edited: Dec 15, 2016, 7:23pm Top

Hooray! Obviously, eight (and nine) weren't enough, now that a tenth volume has been announced:


Philip Roth
Why Write?: Collected Nonfiction 1960–2013
Library of America #300 / ISBN 978-1-59853-540-2
September 2017

Would love to see the table of contents. Any chance his few uncollected short stories end up here to have everything by Roth in these ten volumes? Back in 2011 David seemed to suggest yes.

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