Author: Jane Statlander-Slote

Publisher: Northeast Books & Publishing, LLC

Distributor: Cardinal Publishers Group


This book is actually a compilation of literary criticism that people seldom find on bookshelves these days. Most feel that the market for literary criticism, particularly for those books in whom the central theme still remains psychological study, is waning fast as fiction and adventure fare hold more sway on the readers. Part of this is due to the absence of the quality literary critic as most people feel that criticizing equals critic. But that is far from the truth, slander does not mean critiquing; to be a critic one needs to have time, patience and needs to do a lot of in-depth study of the subject. Also, a critic has to be fair and not ridicule the work, but instead point to the aspects which would help a writer produce even a better work of art.

While most critics have failed to achieve this fine balance, Jane Statlander-Slote has done a phenomenal job, in regards to this book. The author has pointed hitherto unknown aspects of Roth’s work and dug deeper to bring to light unknown aspects about a man who was both admired and also seen with scorn in the popular narrative for long. This, therefore, is a wonderful compilation in all respects; after all, where else can one read such insightful work? The language used is not very difficult to comprehend, the paragraphs blend well and the imagery used to bring forth the points is easy to understand while also showcasing control over emotion. In short, the compilation is very balanced in all respects and neither sings paeans nor savagely attacks it.

But on the flip side, many readers would find the subject ‘heavy,’ yes; it may not be suitable for reading by all, but this book is not ‘dry’; it has its charm and all that a person needs to do is just have the gumption to pick up this book and read with a clear mind. My personal favorite, and the one that I would recommend, is the ‘A Mentality of Manipulation: The Evolution/Revolution Philip Roth’ by Miriam Jaffe-Foger for the fluidity of the language and clear thought behind her write-up, that she liberally used while throwing light over Roth.

This book is a very honest effort by an able educator, therefore, it deserves to be treasured and read by Roth’s fans and critics alike who seek to develop greater understanding of Roth’s work, his character and his thoughts. Go for it!

Follow Here To Purchase Philip Roth - The Continuing Presence: New Essays on Psychological Themes