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