Philip Roth: 'I've Stopped Reading Fiction'

The American novelist tells an interviewer history and biography interest him now

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One of the last century's most-celebrated fiction writers isn't such a big fan of fiction after all. "I've stopped reading fiction. I don't read it at all," said Philip Roth, in an interview with Financial Times arts editor Jan Dalley. "I read other things: history, biography. I don't have the same interest in fiction that I once did." The response shocked Dalley, who "longed" to discuss various aspects of fiction with him but the conversation "died an early death." When asked why he's given up on novels, Roth replied “I don’t know. I wised up.” Those words by Roth, who skyrocketed to fame with his works Goodbye Columbus and Portnoy's Complaint, were passed around by The New Yorker and Ann Althouse over the weekend. His view has found a companion in Karl Weber at the Consult the Editor blog. "I like this exchange because it might seem to validate my own strong preference for reading non-fiction rather than fiction.  Although I am willing to make an exception when the fiction is by Philip Roth."

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