Reading Philip Roth in Newark

Admirers celebrate his 80th birthday with a trek around his childhood haunts:

At each stop, the tour guide would ask for a volunteer to stand up and read a relevant excerpt from Roth’s oeuvre. Outside the Newark Public Library, it was a passage from “Goodbye Columbus” about the protagonist cooling his heels in the park across the street… One tour participant…  confessed to feeling a little guilty about the spectacle of three bus-loads of academics wandering through ordinary neighbourhoods. “As a tourist it’s great…But as a real person I would feel a little grumpy if all these crazy people were coming to my house taking pictures and pretending to ring the doorbell.”

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