Philip Roth Cuts Lansing, Michigan

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By Jason Boog

9780547239699.gifNovelist Philip Roth curiously cut out a reference to Lansing, Michigan in his thirtieth novel, excising a location a half-hour away from this GalleyCat editor’s hometown.

The NY Observer painstakingly compared a review copy of “The Humbling” against the final copy sold in bookstores, uncovering this geographical slight: “[In the first draft] Pegeen’s father runs a community theater in the capital of Michigan, a place for which Mr. Roth apparently has little love: ‘Lansing, Michigan’ is changed to ‘middle of nowhere.'”

This editorial action tested our affection for Roth’s work, since this GalleyCat editor actually covered indie theater in Lansing for his community college newspaper. Saddened by Roth’s editorial exorcism, GalleyCat would like to salute all the writers, reviewers, readers, and community theater supporters in Lansing, Michigan. You are not forgotten!