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10/04/2013 05:30 pm ET

Philip Roth's Letter To The New York Times

AP

To the Editor:

In Bookends (Sept. 17), Pankaj Mishra writes, “Philip Roth seemed almost envious of writers in Communist Eastern Europe, who had gained moral prestige and authority through their perilous defiance of repressive governments: ‘There,’ he wrote, ‘nothing goes and everything matters; here everything goes and nothing matters.’ ” Mishra offers this observation about me as one piece of evidence to confirm his thesis about “the American novelist’s unease about his comfortable isolation.”

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