Advice from Philip Roth. It sounds like Philip Roth has been souring on writing for some time now. His tossed-off retirement announcement had a tone of grumpiness, but it sounded nowhere near as cynical as the advice he recently gave Julian Tepper, a Roth disciple who just published his first novel, Balls. Tepper happens to work in an Upper West Side deli Roth patronizes, and two weeks ago he worked up the nerve to hand his hero a copy of his book. Roth accepted it and even complimented Tepper on the title, but he had some words of advice for the young writer:
I would quit while you’re ahead. Really, it’s an awful field. Just torture. Awful. You write and write, and you have to throw almost all of it away because it’s not any good. I would say just stop now. You don’t want to do this to yourself. That’s my advice to you.