Blake Bailey is the author of biographies of John Cheever, Richard Yates, and Charles Jackson. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians, and a finalist for the Pulitzer and James Tait Black prizes. His previous book, The Splendid Things We Planned, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography. He lives in Virginia with his wife and daughter.
Superlative... Bailey's account is definitive and genuinely gripping to boot... He leads us lucidly through a dense palimpsest of overlapping drafts, fictional identities, literary feuds and women. -- Claire Lowdon * Sunday Times * Compulsively readable... Beautifully written... It is hard to imagine a book that will come up with a more definitive series of answers than this one. -- Tim Adams * Observer * Bailey's utterly engrossing biography ... shows Roth led a life just as strange and intense as his fictionalised alter egos. -- Tomiwa Owolade * Evening Standard * It's a miracle that he has published so lucid a book just three years after Roth's death - and one so packed with good anecdotes and jokes... It's an achievement for Bailey to have gained as much distance as he has. -- Blake Morrison * Guardian * Philip Roth, for all his flaws, for all that I know his legacy will continue to be judged in judgmental times and found wanting, deserves this riveting, serious and deeply intelligent biography. -- David Baddiel * Spectator * The 19th-century novel lives on. Its name today is Biography; its nature is that of Dostoyevskian magnitude. And Blake Bailey's comprehensive life of Philip Roth - to tell it outright - is a narrative masterwork.' -- Cynthia Ozick * New York Times Book Review * Unassailable as to fact... clear-eyed... quickly moving... Philip Roth seems as brightly peopled as a Victorian novel. ... What [Bailey] does superbly... is chart Roth's sexual and emotional life, and map its effects on his work. -- Michael Gorra * New York Review of Books * Bailey is a very good writer and a very good literary biographer... What a story... Along with it comes the man in his wholeness. -- James Parker * Atlantic * A monumental gift... Not only does Blake Bailey bring his famously scrupulous research to bear on this life packed with equal parts honour and scandal, he does so with economy and narrative force - all while working in elegant, unforgettable prose... I wept and railed, marvelled and shook my fist at the sky. 'Just make me interesting,' Roth asked of Bailey, and this unputdownable page-turner does just that. -- Mary Karr Everything you ever wanted to know about Philip Roth you can discover in his novels. Everything you ever wanted to know about what it took to become one of the greatest American writers of our time, you will find in Blake Bailey's breathtaking biography. -- Nicole Krauss