What Happens to Philip Roth’s Legacy Now?

His single authorized biography is mired in controversy. Scholars say it shouldn’t be the last word, but they are struggling for access to his vast and in some cases inaccessible private archives.

By Alexandra Alter and Jennifer Schuessler

Late in his life, Philip Roth occasionally joked that he had two great calamities ahead of him: death and a biography. “Let’s hope the first comes first,” he said in a 2013 interview.

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