May 26, 2013 — When author Lucas Mann turned 13, his father gave him a copy of Portnoy's Complaint, a novel The New Yorker dubbed "one of the dirtiest books ever published." Mann says the book taught him that life is painful, sometimes gross, and often funny.
Dec 3, 2012 — Philip Roth recently announced that he had written his last novel. Author Matthew Specktor explains why Sabbath's Theater, released in 1995, is not only Roth's most disgusting novel but also his best. Do you have a favorite book that breaks all the rules? Tell us in the comments.
Oct 6, 2011 — Philip Roth explores a fictional New Jersey polio epidemic in 1944, while humorist David Sedaris offers animal fables, Isabel Wilkerson looks at black America's Great Migration, Bill Bryson examines the history of private life and Adriana Trigiani channels her grandmothers' wisdom.
Aug 16, 2011 — Dealing with rude, angry people is not fun. But when fictional, these unpleasant personalities can actually be quite charming. Author Ben Dolnick recommends three books and three central characters that'll have you flipping the page faster than you'd flip them the bird.
Jun 14, 2011 — As Father's Day approaches, writer Jim Axelrod turns to literature to probe the relationship between fathers and sons — and make sense of his own. His three selections portray fathers and sons at their best, and at their heartbreaking worst.
Oct 14, 2010 — Roth, who has been writing novels for more than a half-century, explains how he comes up with his ideas — and why he continues to write every day. In his latest work, Nemesis, he imagines a fictional polio outbreak set in his hometown of Newark, N.J., during the 1940s.
Oct 5, 2010 — It's a seductive week in paperback, with love stories from Nobel Prize-winner Orhan Pamuk and Pulitzer Prize-winner Phillip Roth, and an intimate glimpse into Louis Armstrong's life from Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout.
Oct 5, 2010 — In his new novel, Philip Roth sets a fictional yet plausible polio outbreak in his New Jersey hometown. Set in 1944, Nemesis describes the fear that plagued the country in the years before the vaccine was developed.
Oct 4, 2010 — Two-dimensional characters and corny dialogue plague Roth's new novel about a 1944 polio epidemic in Newark, N.J. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author pulls off a gorgeous finale, but his latest work doesn't meet the high bar he set with American Pastoral.
Nov 3, 2009 — A new weekly feature spotlights staff picks of standout books. This week, new novels from Barbara Kingsolver, Philip Roth and Paul Auster. Jonathan Safran Foer makes the case against Eating Animals, and Ken Auletta's Googled profiles one of the world's most significant companies.