"Scholars of English literature take another look at the American novelist and his entire body of work now that many critics and readers - if not the general public - say that he has developed an ever more compelling narrative voice since his controversial best-seller days through the 1970s and 1990s."
Reference & Research Book News
"The very pluralism of this collection, the twentieth book-length study of Roth in English thus far published (and a few more are imminent), makes it essential for anyone studying or savoring the elusive master who once told an interviewer, Sheer Playfulness and Deadly Seriousness are my closest friends. With friends like that, Roth remains and indispensible acquaintance."
Philip Roth Studies
"Offering 17 original essays, this excellent collection makes a fine addition to the substantial body of critical and scholarly work on this important author….Each of the well-written essays deals with one or several of Roth's works, so the book as a whole presents the reader with a chronologically organized survey of virtually all Roth's books, including his biographical and critical writings. The scope and depth of the book are illuminated in the themes that recur throughout, among them, in Ross's words, the joining of the public and the private in Roth's fiction and autobiography, and, in Parker Royal's words, the ways in which American identity and Jewish ethnicity are negotiated. Enhanced by an extensive bibliography, this book provides a sophisticated but accessible introduction to the Roth canon. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."
"Philip Roth: New Perspectives on an American Author is a timely and welcome addition to Roth scholarship….This new book is a collection of some seventeen essays from UK and US scholars. Generally tracing the outline of Roth's work from Goodbye, Columbus through to The Plot Against America each essay offers a plot synopsis before launching into a new argument on the text. This makes for innovative stuff….As a whole the volume presents invigorating critique, breathing new life into the earlier texts and offering considered perspectives on the later works….The scope of the volume, combined with the plot summaries and the kind of scholarship engaged throughout, make this book that rare thing: something of value for scholars in the field and the newcomer alike."
Journal of American Studies
"[N]o one has been so instrumental lately in preparing a fertile ground for the study of Roth's work than Derek Parker Royal, founder and president of the Philip Roth Society and its allied journal. In Philip Roth: New Perspectives on an American Author, Royal draws together a fine collection of sophisticated but accessible essays from both established and young scholars. The anthology demonstrates the many ways in which the study of Roth's work has matured and deepened….As the recent rich production of scholarship on Roth attests, this is an important moment for a retrospective view of his work, and Derek Parker Royal's volume is a welcome addition to that process of reevaluation. The essays are probing and energetic, offering a solid introduction to the fiction for readers unfamiliar with Roth's work as well as superb new readings for scholars in the field."
Studies in American Jewish Literature
"The difficulty of writing about a career as long as Roth's is that it has gone on for so long now that it seems more like five careers, or ten. It is this difficulty that makes a well-edited collection of essays by different critics on different books in Roth's oeuvre so suitable to the task. Derek Peter Royal's books lets in as many perspectives as there are books, providing a coherent, chronological introduction to all of Roth's writing while allowing the diversity and incoherence of his many concerns to emerge….[b]y demonstrating the seemingly endless reading of Roth's long career, they provide an invitation to take another look at an author we thought we knew so well."
Times Literary Supplement (London)
"Royal's new anthology of critical essays on Philip Roth is a timely addition to the growing library of books to weigh in on Roth as our most important contemporary novelist….The editor's charge to his writers was to start afresh, make it new, and so they have. The contributors have learned from Roth himself how to be at once weighty and brisk, informed and bold. These essays are admirably readable, and are framed expertly by Professor Royal's introduction and concluding bibliography. To the student of Philip Roth's writing, beginning or well advanced, I can say confidently, Start here." (Mark Shechner, author of Up Society's Ass Copper: Rereading Philip Roth