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Jon Hamm, Ayad Akhtar, and More to Read Philip Roth's 'The Plot Against America' at 92Y


Jon Hamm, Ayad Akhtar, and More to Read Philip Roth's 'The Plot Against America' at 92Y

92Y's Unterberg Poetry Center will present a reading of an abridged version of Philip Roth's critically-acclaimed novel, The Plot Against America, on Sunday, October 28 at 1 pm. Featured readers include Ayad Akhtar, Billy Crudup, Jennifer Ehle, Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Marvel, Maggie Siff and John Turturro, among others.

The reading consists of three 90-minute acts (with two intermissions) and nine different readers in all. James Shapiro, the renowned Shakespeare scholar, assembled the abridgment. Arin Arbus will direct the reading.

The Plot Against America is a counter-factual novel published in 2004. Set in Newark, New Jersey in the early 1940s, it tells the story of what it was like for the (fictional) Roth family and Jews across the country when the isolationist and "America First" aviation hero Charles Lindbergh was elected president of the United States. "Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear," is the opening line of the novel, voiced by seven-year-old Philip.

Philip Roth, one of America's most decorated contemporary authors, died in May of 2018. Before his death, Roth was collaborating with Poetry Center Director Bernard Schwartz on the details of the October 28 event.

"This reading, which features some of the country's finest actors, is our tribute to the master and one of his many masterworks, as timely (and timeless) today as it ever was," said Schwartz.

The Oct. 28 event is one of the highlights of 92Y Poetry Center's 80th Anniversary season. Since 1939, the Center has presented readings by many of the greatest contemporary writers: Philip Roth gave his last public reading there in 2014; Truman Capote debuted In Cold Blood in 1964; and Dylan Thomas premiered Under Milk Wood in 1953, among other seminal moments.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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