Roger Rosenblatt

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Roger Rosenblatt
Nationality American
Occupation Journalist and essayist

Roger Rosenblatt (born 1940) is an American journalist,[1] author, playwright and teacher. He was a long-time columnist for Time magazine. He is currently a professor at Stony Brook Southampton.


Roger Rosenblatt began writing professionally in his mid-30s, when he became Literary Editor and a columnist for The New Republic. Before that, he taught at Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D, held the Briggs-Copeland appointment in the teaching of writing, and was Allston-Burr Senior Tutor and Master of Dunster House. At age 29, he was the youngest house master in Harvard’s history. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Ireland in 1965–66. Six universities have awarded him honorary doctorates. In 2005, he was the Edward R. Murrow visiting professor at Harvard. In 2008 he was appointed Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook University, one of five such appointments in the SUNY system, where he currently teaches.

His pieces for Time magazine have won two George Polk Awards, awards from the Overseas Press Club, the American Bar Association, and others. His television essays for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS have won the Peabody and the Emmy. His Time cover essay, “A Letter to the Year 2086,” was chosen for the time capsule placed inside the Statue of Liberty at its centennial. When he was writing a column for the Washington Post, Washingtonian magazine named him “Best Columnist in Washington.” He is the author of 14 books, which have been published in 14 languages. They include the national bestseller, Rules for Aging; three collections of essays; and Children of War, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Unless it Moves the Human Heart, on the art of writing. His first novel, Lapham Rising was also a national bestseller, as was Making Toast, a book-length version of his December 2008 essay in The New Yorker, on the death of his daughter. He has written six off-Broadway plays including Ashley Montana Goes Ashore in the Caicos, and The Oldsmobiles, both produced at the Flea Theater. His comic, one-person show, Free Speech in America, which he performed at the American Place Theater, was cited by the New York Times as one of the 10 best plays of 1991. In 2009 he was selected as one of three finalists for the Robert Cherry Award for the most distinguished university teachers in the country.

His novel Children of War won the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights 1984 Book award given annually to a novelist who "most faithfully and forcefully reflects Robert Kennedy's purposes - his concern for the poor and the powerless, his struggle for honest and even-handed justice, his conviction that a decent society must assure all young people a fair chance, and his faith that a free democracy can act to remedy disparities of power and opportunity."[2]

William Safire of the New York Times wrote that Roger Rosenblatt’s work represents “some of the most profound and stylish writing in America today.” Vanity Fair said that he “set new standards of thought and compassion” in journalism. The Chicago Tribune said that he turned “magazine journalism into an art form.” The Philadelphia Inquirer cited his essays for “unparalleled elegance and wit.” In its issue on “The Best” (January 2004), Town and Country named him the “finest essayist in the country.” Kirkus Reviews noted, "He has excelled in nearly every literary form." UPI called him “a national treasure.”


  • The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood - 2013
  • Kayak Morning - 2012
  • Unless it Moves the Human Heart: The Art and Craft of Writing - 2011
  • Making Toast - 2010
  • Beet - 2008
  • Lapham Rising - 2006
  • Winter Lights - 2001
  • Rules for Aging - 2000
  • Coming Apart: A Memoir of the Harvard Wars of 1969 - 1997
  • Life Itself: Abortion in the American Mind - 1992
  • Witness: The World Since Hiroshima - 1985
  • Children of War - 1983
  • Black Fiction - 1974

The Man In The Water - 1994


  1. ^ William F. Buckley, Jr. (January 15, 1981). "Rumor Mills Grind Out Fabrications, Hurt Reagans". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
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