Roth’s 80th cause for Newark, NJ, celebration
We’re the boys who eat no ham
We play football, we play soccer _
And we keep matzos in our locker!
Aye, aye, aye Weequahic High!”
Passengers burst out laughing and got off the bus to snap photos in front of the high school. Blocks later they bounded off the bus to see Roth’s childhood home, now a yellow-sided structure with faux rocks on the front and a small sign proclaiming it a historic site.
“It’s remarkable how many monuments from his literature are here,” said Michael Kimmage, a Roth scholar at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Sarah Shieff, a professor of Jewish literature at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, flew to Newark for the event with her husband. Roth’s descriptions of places were foreign to Schieff, a New Zealand native, and seeing Newark was a way to round out her study.
“This is a way of putting it in three dimensions,” she said. “He writes his settings incredibly vividly. It’s a bonus to see them in the flesh.”