Philip M. Roth 1933 – 2018 NPL Statement

PHILIP M. ROTH 1933-2018

Newark Public Library mourns the loss of Philip Roth, acclaimed American author and lifelong friend and supporter of the Newark Public Library.

Mr. Roth had a strong personal connection to the Newark Public Library. It played a significant role when he was growing up in the Weequahic community of Newark. He describes himself at that time as, “a library-intoxicated” young man whose interest in reading and writing was formed at the Library. During his college years at Rutgers, Mr. Roth referred to the Library as his “other Newark home. My first other home.” The protagonist of his first novel, “Goodbye Columbus,” worked at the Library, and Mr. Roth conducted extensive research for his celebrated “American Trilogy” in the Library’s New Jersey Room.

In 2013 the Newark Public Library celebrated Mr. Roth’s 80th birthday with the extensive exhibit, Philip Roth: Photos from a Lifetime. The exhibit displayed his contributions to literature and his close relationship with the City of Newark.

In 2016, Mr. Roth bequeathed his entire personal collection of over 3,500 books to the Newark Public Library. That same year, the Library created the Philip Roth Lecture Series to honor Mr. Roth and his contributions to the Library and to Newark. It was also designed to showcase great writers currently at work and inspire the next generation of young readers and writers.

Philip Roth’s passing is a painful loss to the Newark Public Library, to the city of Newark, and to the world of literature.

To download the NPL statement, please click here:  NPL – P Roth Statement 5.23.18 Final