Periel Aschenbrand meets Philip Roth for the first time:

One of the perks of my job — I got to go to really interesting events and meet really interesting people all the time… In this particular scenario, I was being introduced to Philip Roth, my mother’s favorite writer, whom I had heard her refer to as “the literary lion.” And while I’ve never been particularly starstruck, I flipped when I found out Roth was going to be there. Next thing I know, a mutual friend takes me by the hand, drags me over to Roth, and introduces me to him in this fashion: “Philip. Zis is Periel, she is a grrrreat writer.”

I could not imagine anything more humiliating in the entire world. I wanted to curl up in a hole and die. Adding insult to injury, a friend of Roth’s who was lingering around us, nodded toward Roth and said to me, “So you like him, huh?”

In attempt to salvage whatever miserly bit of self-respect I had left, I said, “Well, I don’t know him, so I can’t like him, but I do like his work.”

This was an out-and-out lie. I had never read a single word Philip Roth had written.

– excerpted from I Should Have Slept With Philip Roth, Salon, 6/30/2013

It’s Monday…go get experienced…

roth2Philip Roth
Illustration for the National Post by Antony Hare