The now deceased Arthur Miller has been described as America's greatest playwright. I met him before his talk on October 24, 2006. In front of a huge crowd at the Union Square Barnes & Noble, Miller was interviewed by Victor Navasky of The Nation.
Prior to the program, when I introduced myself as a member of the Book TV video crew and asked for his autograph on a flier, he and his daughter appeared humbled.
Okay, so Philip Roth is a leading fiction author, like Miller, perhaps the greatest in American history, captured at the 2002 National Book Award Ceremony. And the second autograph shown? It is of Steve Martin, host of the annual black tie affair.
Here is Philip Roth, captured again on April 11, 2008 at an event marking his 75th birthday and career. Roth gained early literary fame with the 1959 collection Goodbye, Columbus and cemented it with hisbestseller, Portnoy's Complaint.
Roth has continued to write critically acclaimed works, many of which feature his fictional alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman. The Zuckerman novels began with The Ghost Writer in 1979, and include the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Pastoral penned in1997.