Thursday, May 27, 2021

the last book I ever read (Philip Roth: The Biography, excerpt eight)

from Philip Roth: The Biography by Blake Bailey:

Roth’s lease at Kips Bay expired that winter, and he found more sumptuous quarters at 18 East Eighty-first Street, a stone’s throw from Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum and incidentally across the street from Campbell’s funeral home, where he’d said goodbye to Maggie. Roth rented one of two parlor-floor apartments in the four-story building. His spacious living room was connected via a book-lined corridor to his study, also lined with bookcases and big windows giving a view of the backyard and its single plane tree. The small, nondescript bedroom was tucked away in the rear. Roth finished moving in at the end of January 1969 and summed up the month of February as “Awful . . . New apartment unfinished. No Ann.” From his tall front windows he could see caskets going in and out of Campbell’s, and that June he would observe thousands of heartbroken fans lining up to see Judy Garland, lying in state.

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