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American Pastoral

by Philip Roth

In American Pastoral, Philip Roth gives us a novel of unqualified greatness that is an elegy for all the twentieth century’s promises of prosperity, civic order, and domestic bliss. Roth’s protagonist is Seymour ‘Swede’ Levov – a legendary high school athlete, a devoted family man, a hard worker, the prosperous inheritor of his father’s Newark glove factory – comes of age in thriving, triumphant post-war America. And then one day in 1968, Swede’s beautiful American luck deserts him.

For Swede’s adored daughter, Merry, has grown from a loving, quick-witted girl into a sullen, fanatical teenager – a teenager capable of an outlandishly savage act of political terrorism. And overnight Swede is wrenched out of the longed-for American pastoral and into the indigenous American berserk. Compulsively readable, propelled by sorrow, rage, and a deep compassion for its characters, this is Roth’s masterpiece.

Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Soon to be adapted for the big screen by Philip Noyce, starring Ewan McGregor as  Seymour ‘Swede’ Levov.

“Dazzling…a wrenching, compassionate, intelligent novel…gorgeous.” Boston Globe

“At once expansive and painstakingly detailed…. The pages of American Pastoral crackle with the electricity and zest of a first-rate mind at work.” —San Francisco Chronicle


Overview

Author
Publisher
Book Club Notes
Released
12 May, 1997

About Philip Roth

In 1997, Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians' Prize for 'the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004'. Recently Roth received PEN's two most prestigious prizes: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America.



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