Literature & Criticism / Literature­Contemporary

Up Society's Ass, Copper
Rereading Philip Roth
Mark Shechner

"Up Society's Ass, Copper presents the Roth aficionado with a series of original, provocative and entertaining perspectives—Shechner's very own—thus far unavailable in book form."—Sanford Pinsker, author of The Comedy that "Hoits": An Essay on the Fiction of Philip Roth

"Up Society's Ass Copper: Rereading Philip Roth is the culmination of thirty years of writing about Roth. A collection of essays and reviews, fulminations and daydreams, hasty claims and later retractions, it combines vivid first impressions with conclusions that have been percolating for decades. Its alloy of hunches, impressions, and judgments is the record of a restless and sometimes impatient reader trying to make sense of a turbulent and mercurial writer. I try to get at bedrock issues in Roth's writing without letting those issues distract me from the detours, anecdotes, impersonations, punch lines, send ups, pratfalls, visions, mutterings, and trash talk that are the purest distillations of Roth's art. Its working premise is that Roth "does what he does because he does what he does" and that the surest way to get a handle on him is not to be insistent and to allow each book to be unique, surprising, and strange."—Mark Shechner

Mark Shechner is professor of English at the State University of New York–Buffalo and was twice a Fulbright lecturer on American literature. He is the regular fiction reviewer for the Buffalo News and is author of several books, including The Conversion of Jews and Other Essays.


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November 2003
LC: 2003006268 PS
248 pp. 6 x 9
1 b/w photo
ISBN 978-0-299-19350-8 Cloth $50 s
ISBN 978-0-299-19354-6 Paper $22.95 s

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