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In the 1990s Philip Roth won America's four major literary awards in succession: the National Book Critics Circle Award for Patrimony (1991), the PEN/Faulkner Award for Operation Shylock (1993), the National Book Award for Sabbath's Theater (1995), and the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for American Pastoral (1997). He won the Ambassador Book Award of the English-Speaking Union for I Married a Communist (1998); in the same year he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House. Previously he won the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Counterlife (1986) and the National Book Award for his first book, Goodbye, Columbus (1959). In 2000 he published The Human Stain, concluding a trilogy that depicts the ideological ethos of postwar America. For The Human Stain Roth received his second PEN/Faulkner Award as well as Britain's W. H. Smith Award for the Best Book of the Year. In 2001 he received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in fiction, given every six years 'for the entire work of the recipient'. In 2011 Philip Roth was awarded the International Man Booker Prize.
Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize. ‘A tragedy of classical proportions - a magnificent novel’ The Times
Shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize 2011. Through this story runs the dark question that haunts all four of Roth's late short novels, Everyman, Indignation , The Humbling, and now, Nemesis : What choices fatally shape a life? How powerless is each of us up against the force of circumstances?
Author winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2011. Sarah Broadhurst's view...A stunning work, a literary giant and a thrilling read. The reactions of the Jewish population of Newark on the election of Charles Lindberg, known to be a Nazi sympathiser, is portrayed in a masterly fashion. There is a summary of historical facts at the end for those who are confused; I needed it.Comparison: Norman Mailer, John Updike. Similar this month: Tom Wolfe. This review is provided by bookgroup.info.Philip Roth just gets better. This, his latest novel, is a stunning achievement. In THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA, Roth poses a terrifying, yet perfectly plausible, ‘what if..’: What if Charles Lindbergh, suave aviator hero and proto-fascist, had become President of the United States in 1941? Roth constructs a chilling scenario where America not only fails to engage in World War II and prevent Hitler’s march across Europe, but allows its government to implement anti-Semitic programmes that are sending it on the road towards a ‘final solution’ for the Jewish population. The story is told in the voice of Philip Roth, nine-year-old second generation American Jew, living in Newark, New Jersey. The perspective of the young boy is not only completely convincing – his limited understanding, his undeserved guilt, his admiration for less than worthy heroes – but it also creates an empathetic viewpoint for the terrible events that shape the lives of his family and friends. The story is engrossing, Roth’s characterisation is, as always, deft – Philip’s father, brother, cousin, uncle are all too plausible in their fallibility – and the effortless brilliance of some of the passages is breath-taking. My only reservation about the book is that it is written about an era, twenty three years before the Jim Crow laws were repealed, when segregation – in schools, restaurants, cinemas, buses - was not only commonplace but was legal. By ignoring this fundamental aspect of American social history, and writing it from a purely Jewish standpoint, Roth leaves a gaping hole in the narrative of an otherwise fantastic novel. Written in the context of the ‘soft fascism’ of the Bush regime and the erosion of civil liberties in the UK, the novel serves to remind us of how fragile racial tolerance can be and how we should guard against a complacence that allows discrimination, legal or otherwise, in our multi-cultural societies.
October 2013 Guest Editor Linwood Barclay on American Pastoral by Philip Roth...Okay, not a crime novel. I came to Roth late. Everyone else was reading him back when he wrote the outrageous Portnoy's Complaint, but I only discovered him about ten years ago, with The Plot Against America. But American Pastoral is, for me, his masterwork, and maybe one of the best books I've ever read. Roth packs more into a paragraph than other writers pack into an entire book. I'm glad you don't have to be this good to get published. Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize.
DISCOVER THE NOVEL BEHIND THE BRILLIANT NEW TV DRAMA 'Though on the morning after the election disbelief prevailed, especially among the pollsters, by the next everybody seemed to understand everything...' When celebrity aviator, Charles A. Lindbergh, wins the 1940 presidential election on the slogan of 'America First', fear invades every Jewish household. Not only has Lindbergh blamed the Jews for pushing America towards war with Germany, he has negotiated an 'understanding' with the Nazis promising peace between the two nations. Growing up in the 'ghetto' of Newark, Philip Roth recounts his childhood caught in the stranglehold of this counterfactual nightmare. As America sinks into its own dark metamorphosis and Jewish families are torn apart, fear and uncertainty spread. Who really is President Lindbergh? And to what end has he hijacked America?
Like a latter-day Gregor Samsa, Professor David Kepesh wakes up one morning to find that he has been transformed. But where Kafka's protagonist turned into a monstrous cockroach, the narrator of Philip Roth's fantasy has become a 155-pound female breast. What follows is a deliriously funny yet moving exploration of the full implications of Kepesh's metamorphosis; audacious, heretical - as darkly hilarious as it is existentially unnerving - making new the silliness, triviality and wonderful meaninglessness of lived human experience.
The American psyche is channelled into the gripping story of one man. This is the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Philip Roth at his very best. It is 1998, the year America is plunged into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president. In a small New England town a distinguished professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues allege that he is a racist. The charge is unfounded, the persecution needless, but the truth about Silk would astonish even his most virulent accuser. Coleman Silk has a secret that he has kept for fifty years. This is the conclusion to Roth's brilliant trilogy of post-war America - a story of seismic shifts in American history and a personal search for renewal and regeneration. 'An extraordinary book - bursting with rage, humming with ideas, full of dazzling sleights of hand' Sunday Telegraph
The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Philip Roth turns his gaze on 30s and 40s America in this magnificent successor to American Pastoral. Ira Ringold is an American roughneck who transforms himself from a ditch-digger in 1930s New Jersey, to a radio hotshot in the 1940s. In his heyday as a star - and as a bullying supporter of 'progressive' political causes - Ira marries Hollywood's leading lady, Eve Frame. Their glamorous honeymoon is short-lived, however, and it is the publication of Eve's scandalous bestselling expose that identifies Ira as 'an American taking his orders from Moscow'. In this story of cruelty, betrayal, and revenge friends become deadly enemies, parents and children estranged, lovers blacklisted and the great felled from vertiginous heights. 'Knotted with energy, barely wasting a scene or word in its cracking velocity' Mail on Sunday 'A passionate and coruscating American tragedy' Financial Times
Discover the Pulitzer-prize winning novel that confirmed Philip Roth as one of the greatest American writers. 'Swede' Levov is living the American dream. He glides through life cocooned by his devoted family, lucrative business, sporting prowess and good looks. He is the embodiment of thriving, post-war America, land of liberty and hope. Until one sunny day in 1968, when Swede's daughter, Merry, commits an outlandishly savage act of political terrorism and the Levov family is plunged into mayhem. Extraordinarily nuanced and poignant, American Pastoral is the first in an eloquent trilogy of post-war American novels that still resonates today. 'A profound and personal meditation on the changes in the American psyche over the last fifty years' Financial Times 'A tragedy of classical proportions...a magnificent novel' The Times
'Though on the morning after the election disbelief prevailed, especially among the pollsters, by the next everybody seemed to understand everything...' When celebrity aviator, Charles A. Lindbergh, wins the 1940 presidential election on the slogan of 'America First', fear invades every Jewish household. Not only has Lindbergh blamed the Jews for pushing America towards war with Germany, he has negotiated an 'understanding' with the Nazis promising peace between the two nations. Growing up in the 'ghetto' of Newark, Philip Roth recounts his childhood caught in the stranglehold of this counterfactual nightmare. As America sinks into its own dark metamorphosis and Jewish families are torn apart, fear and uncertainty spread. Who really is President Lindbergh? And to what end has he hijacked America?
Patrimony, a true story, touches the emotions as strongly as anything Philip Roth has ever written. Roth watches as his eighty-six-year-old father-famous for his vigor, his charm, and his repertoire of Newark recollections-battles with the brain tumor that will kill him. The son, full of love, anxiety, and dread, accompanies his father through each fearful stage of his final ordeal, and, as he does so, discloses the survivalist tenacity that has distinguished his father's long, stubborn engagement with life. Philip Roth is hailed by many as the reigning king of American fiction. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, this memoir about love, survival, and memory is one of his most intimate books, but also one of his most intellectually vigorous. Patrimony is Roth's elegy to his father, written with piercing observation and wit at the height of his literary prowess.
The Counterlife is about people enacting their dreams of renewal and escape, some of them going so far as to risk their lives to alter seemingly irreversible destinies. Wherever they may find themselves, the characters of The Counterlife are tempted unceasingly by the prospect of an alternative existence that can reverse their fate.Illuminating these lives in transition and guiding us through the book's evocative landscapes, familiar and foreign, is the mind of the novelist Nathan Zuckerman. His is the skeptical, enveloping intelligence that calculates the price that's paid in the struggle to change personal fortune and reshape history, whether in a dentist's office in suburban New Jersey, a tradition-bound English Village in Gloucestershire, a church in London's West End, or a tiny desert settlement in Israel's occupied West Bank.
In quest of the unpublished manuscript of a martyred Yiddish writer, the American novelist Nathan Zuckerman travels to Soviet-occupied Prague in the mid-1970s. There, in a nation straightjacketed by totalitarian Communism, he discovers a literary predicament, marked by institutionalized oppression, that is rather different from his own. He also discovers, among the oppressed writers with whom he quickly becomes embroiled in a series of bizarre and poignant adventures, an appealingly perverse kind of heroism.The Prague Orgy, consisting of entries from protagonist Nathan Zuckerman's notebooks recording his sojourn among these outcast artists, completes the Nathan Zuckerman series. It provides a startling ending to Roth's intricately designed magnum opus on the unforeseen consequences of art.
At forty, the writer Nathan Zuckerman comes down with a mysterious affliction-pure pain, beginning in his neck and shoulders, invading his torso, and taking possession of his spirit. Zuckerman, whose work was his life, is unable to write a line. Now his work is trekking from one doctor to another, but none can find a cause for the pain or assuage it. Zuckerman himself wonders if the pain could have been caused by his own books. And while he is wondering, his dependence on painkillers grows into an addiction to vodka, marijuana, and Percodan.The third volume in the Nathan Zuckerman series, The Anatomy Lesson provides some of the funniest scenes in all of Roth's fiction-as well as some of the fiercest.
The Ghost Writer introduces Nathan Zuckerman in the 1950s, a budding writer infatuated with the great books, discovering the contradictory claims of literature and experience while an overnight guest in the secluded New England farmhouse of his idol, E. I. Lonoff.At Lonoff's, Zuckerman meets Amy Bellette, a haunting young woman of indeterminate foreign background who turns out to be a former student of Lonoff's and who may also have been his mistress. Zuckerman, with his active, youthful imagination, wonders if she could be the paradigmatic victim of Nazi persecution. If she were, it might change his life.The first volume in the Nathan Zuckerman series, The Ghost Writer is about the tensions between literature and life, artistic truthfulness and conventional decency-and about those implacable practitioners who live with the consequences of sacrificing one for the other.
In an astonishing feat of empathy and narrative invention, our most ambitious novelist imagines an alternate version of American history. In 1940 Charles A. Lindbergh, heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, is elected president. Shortly thereafter, he negotiates a cordial "e;understanding"e; with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism. For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh's election is the first in a series of ruptures that threaten to destroy his small, safe corner of America-and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother.
In 1951, the second year of the Korean War, a studious, law-abiding, and intense youngster from Newark, New Jersey, Marcus Messner, begins his sophomore year on the pastoral, conservative campus of Ohio's Winesburg College. And why is he there and not at a local college in Newark where he originally enrolled? Because his father, the sturdy, hardworking neighborhood butcher, seems to have gone mad-mad with fear and apprehension of the dangers of adult life, the dangers of the world, the dangers he sees in every corner for his beloved boy. Far from Newark, Marcus has to find his way amid the customs and constrictions of another American world.Indignation, Philip Roth's twenty-ninth book, is a startling departure from the haunted narratives of old age and experience in Roth's recent books and a powerful exploration of a remarkable moment in American history.