Never afraid to find narrative fodder in real life, Philip Roth used the 2004 presidential elections as backdrop for his latest novel, Exit Ghost. The Pulitzer winner expounded on his politics in a lengthy interview with Der Spiegel, admitting he's a fan of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and calling the White House's current resident "too horrendous to be forgotten."
Alter ego Nathan Zuckerman makes his final appearance in the novel, returning to New York after years in rural New England—much like the author, who regularly trades secluded Connecticut digs for NYC. But don't think Roth has a warm spot for Zuckerman: "There is no friendship between me and the figures in my books. It is only about: Can he deliver in the book?"