Although the cover is garlanded with quotes from the few favourable reviews, the author was clearly stung by the critical reception he received in some quarters. The press release accompanying review copies ends with the bald statement: “Martin Amis is the author of nine novels, two collections of short stories and six collection [sic] of non-fiction . . . He is not available for interviews.”
Also noted in this week’s “Literary Life” column: a professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Ross Miller, has been commissioned by Houghton Mifflin “to write the ‘definitive’ biography of Philip Roth.”
“One looks forward to comparing Ross’s account with the less-than-flattering portrait of Roth that appeared in Limelight and After, the autobiography of his former wife, Claire Bloom,” Sanderson says. (Via Bookninja.)
In case you missed the scandal when it broke: many theorize that a character in Roth’s I Married a Communist is based on Bloom and that the novel is intended partly to rebut Leaving a Doll’s House. Katha Pollitt argued that Roth’s:
attempt to set the record straight has too many preposterous elements, it’s too over the top. And in the end it pulls the center of gravity of the novel away from major themes of American history, about which Roth is brilliant, to another old Roth theme–the dangerous irrationality and craziness and self-centered troublemaking of women.