Philip Roth to Donate Over 4,000 Books to Newark Public Library

What does an author do after winning the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and breaking hearts and souls with over 80 works of fiction and non-fiction? Give back of course! Yesterday, according to the New York Times, Philip Roth pledged to donate roughly 4,000 books to his “other home”, the Newark Public Library.

Roth’s personal collection of books will be housed in a single room of the library, designed by the architect Henry Myerberg. His design, which seeks to recreate the look and feel of Roth’s own home library, will be rich with the works of Salinger, Bellow, Schulz, Kafka and other long time favorites of the author. “Not a window into Mr. Roth’s mind exactly,” reports Charles McGrath, “but physical evidence of the eclectic writers who helped shape it.” Of course, the best part of the donation is that each book comes timestamped with Roth’s annotations, underlines and half-baked thoughts scribbled in the margins.

In his interview with NYT, Roth shared his own excitement – albeit vague and oddly elusive:

“I’m glad that my books are all going to be together. I don’t know why. I’m not going to be together, but let them be together.”

We’re glad too. We think.

In celebration of the mass donation, the library will also be hosting a Philip Roth lecture series, which launches its inaugural presentation tonight with an introduction by Zadie Smith.

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If you’re in town, be sure to hit the library tonight!



Featured image courtesy of WSJ