'Here We Are' by Professor Benjamin Taylor Published to Much Praise
BY Felix van Kann, June 2, 2020
Here We Are is a deeply felt, beautifully crafted meditation on friendship and loss in the vein of A Year of Magical Thinking, and a touching portrait of writer Philip Roth from his closest friend. Benjamin Taylor’s memoir is the unvarnished portrait of his best friend and one of America’s greatest writers.
According to NPR’s Maureen Corrigan, “Along with their conversations in Here We Are, Taylor summons up anecdotes and clear-eyed assessments of what made Roth tick. There's an appealing quality of randomness to this slim memoir that makes it feel like we're tagging along with the two friends on their constant walks, talks and dinners in the dive restaurants Roth preferred on the Upper West Side, where anything could come up, sometimes even big revelations.
Benjamin Taylor's previous memoir, The Hue and Cry at Our House, received the 2018 Los Angeles Times/Christopher Isherwood Prize and was named a New York Times Editors' Choice; his Proust: The Search was named a Best Book of 2016 by Thomas Mallon in The New York Times Book Review; and his Naples Declared: A Walk Around the Bay was named a Best Book of 2012 by Judith Thurman in The New Yorker. He is also the author of two novels, Tales Out of School, winner of the 1996 Harold Ribalow Prize, and The Book of Getting Even, winner of a Barnes & Noble Discover Award. He edited Saul Bellow: Letters, named a Best Book of 2010 by Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times and Jonathan Yardley in The Washington Post, and Bellow's There Is Simply Too Much to Think About: Collected Nonfiction, also a New York Times Editors' Choice. His edition of the collected stories of Susan Sontag, Debriefing, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2017. Taylor is a founding faculty member in the New School’s Graduate School of Writing. He is a past fellow and current trustee of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and serves as president of the Edward F. Albee Foundation.
You can order Here We Are here.