Here We Are: My Friendship with Philip Roth by Benjamin Taylor
I had a baseball question on the tip of my tongue: What was the name of “the natural,” the player shot by a stalker in a Chicago hotel room? He gave me an amused look that darkened in-to puzzlement, then fear. Then he pitched forward into the soup, unconscious. When I entered the examining room twenty minutes after our arrival at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Philip said, “No more books.” Thus he announced his retirement.
So begins Benjamin Taylor’s Here We Are, the unvarnished portrait of his best friend and one of America’s greatest writers. Needless to say, Philip Roth’s place in the canon is secure, but what is less clear is what the man himself was like. In Here We Are, Benjamin Taylor’s beautifully constructed memoir, we see him as a mortal man, experiencing the joys and sorrows of aging, reflecting on his own writing, and doing something we all love to do: passing the time in the company of his closest friend.
Here We Are is an ode to friendship and its wondrous ability to brighten our lives in unexpected ways. Benjamin Taylor is one of the most talented writers working today, and this new memoir pays tribute to his friend, in the way that only a writer can. Roth encouraged him to write this book, giving Taylor explicit instructions not to sugarcoat anything and not to publish it until after his death. Unvarnished and affectionately true to life, Taylor’s memoir will be the definitive account of Philip Roth as he lived for years to come.
Year first published: 2020