The author Philip Roth, who died in 2018, was not sure whether he wanted to be the subject of a biography. In the end, he decided that he wanted to be known and understood.
His search for a biographer was long and fraught — Mr. Roth parted ways with two, courted one and sued another — before he settled on Blake Bailey, one of the great chroniclers of America’s literary lives.
Today on The Sunday Read, the journey of rendering a writer whose life was equal parts discipline and exuberance.
This story was written by Mark Oppenheimer and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.