Speaking earlier this week, the novelist said that retirement was "great so far", adding that after working every day of the week during a literary career that ran from 1959 to 2010, he is now taking things a little easier. "I wake up in the morning, get a big glass of orange juice and read for an hour-and-a-half. I've never done that in my life," he said.
American Pastoral followed Sabbath's Theater, and in it Roth said he "wanted to write about a conventionally virtuous man. I was sick of Mickey Sabbath and I wanted to go to the other end of the spectrum. I think the book worked, enabled me to write about the most powerful decade of my life, the 60s, and the domestic turbulence of the 60s, and I think I got a lot of that into the book."
Referring to fellow writers including John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, EL Doctorow and William Styron, Roth said he "ran with some very fast horses … Now, the Nobel prize committee doesn't agree with me. They think we're provincial. But I suspect they're a little bit provincial."