Arts & Entertainment

The Tormented, Tormenting Genius of Joseph Roth

New York Review of Books

Sponsored by Reaktion Books

Hermione Lee
Poet of the Dispossessed

Joseph Roth was unwavering in his passion for the vanished Austro-Hungarian Empire, which inspired his greatest novel, his hatred of nationalism, and his prophetic and courageous loathing for the Nazis. About everything else, as a new biography shows, he had violently mixed feelings.

James Walton
Doomed to Lucidity

Though Andrew Miller is a master of traditional narrative, he has struggled to escape the formulas of his fiction.

Leslie T. Chang
Little Town on the Prairie

Liang Hong’s best-selling account of returning to her home village inspired an outpouring of Chinese nonfiction about the country’s immense social changes.

Jamieson Webster
A Child Is Being Aborted

Psychoanalysis helped me make sense of my desire to have a child. It also exposes the fantasies at the root of the fear of abortion.

Free from the Archives

In the most recent issue of the Review, Hermione Lee writes about the Austrian Jewish novelist Joseph Roth, a “tormented and tormenting personality [who] created writings of genius that obsessively returned to the very places he had most wanted to escape from.” Lee is one of the most insightful chroniclers of writers in the English language, and her bibliography includes biographies of Willa Cather, Tom Stoppard, Philip Roth, and Virginia Woolf. In the magazine’s May 29, 1997, issue, Rosemary Dinnage reviewed Lee’s Virginia Woolf, an “outstanding biography” of “a leader in a generation precariously inventing ways of living and writing for the twentieth century.”

Rosemary Dinnage
The Whirr of Wings

“It was from these beginnings that Woolf as adult writer interpreted life as fragile, immensely precious, and always under threat.”

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