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American Pastoral
PHILIP ROTH

American Pastoral by Philip Roth
392 reviews (1997) (432p)
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction Finalist
New York TimesĀ® Best Fiction Books

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Book Description
As the American century draws to an uneasy close, Philip Roth gives us a novel of unqualified greatness that is an elegy for all our century's promises of prosperity, civic order, and domestic bliss. Roth's protagonist is Swede Levov, a legendary athlete at his Newark high school, who grows up in the booming postwar years to marry a former Miss New Jersey, inherit his father's glove factory, and move into a stone house in the idyllic hamlet of Old Rimrock. 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 longer-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.


Amazon.com Review
Philip Roth's 22nd book takes a life-long view of the American experience in this thoughtful investigation of the century's most divisive and explosive of decades, the '60s. Returning again to the voice of his literary alter ego Nathan Zuckerman, Roth is at the top of his form. His prose is carefully controlled yet always fresh and intellectually subtle as he reconstructs the halcyon days, circa World War II, of Seymour "the Swede" Levov, a high school sports hero and all-around Great Guy who wants nothing more than to live in tranquillity. But as the Swede grows older and America crazier, history sweeps his family inexorably into its grip: His own daughter, Merry, commits an unpardonable act of "protest" against the Vietnam war that ultimately severs the Swede from any hope of happiness, family, or spiritual coherence.


Other Award Winning Books by Philip Roth
Everyman by Philip Roth
159 reviews (2006) (192p) (PF)
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The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
534 reviews (2004) (400p) (NBCCA) (NYTimes) (Amazon) (ALA)
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The Human Stain by Philip Roth
304 reviews (2000) (384p) (PF) (NYTimes) (LATimes)
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I Married a Communist by Philip Roth
52 reviews (1998) (336p) (LATimes) (ALA)
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Sabbath's Theater by Philip Roth
64 reviews (1995) (464p) (PP) (NBA) (NYTimes)
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Operation Shylock by Philip Roth
30 reviews (1993) (400p) (PP) (PF)
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The Counterlife by Philip Roth
23 reviews (1987) (336p) (NBCCA) (NBA) (NYTimes)
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The Anatomy Lesson by Philip Roth
15 reviews (1983) (304p) (NBCCA) (NBA) (NYTimes)
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ZUCKERMAN UNBOUND by Philip Roth
4 reviews (1981) (700p) (NYTimes) (LATimes)
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The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth
38 reviews (1979) (192p) (PP) (NBCCA) (NBA)
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The Professor of Desire by Philip Roth
10 reviews (1977) (272p) (NBCCA)
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My Life As a Man by Philip Roth
13 reviews (1974) (352p) (NBA)
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Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth
57 reviews (1959) (320p) (NBA)
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PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
93 reviews (288p) (Modern100)
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Philip Roth Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 21  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 13  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 1 American Pastoral ·  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 4 American Pastoral · Operation Shylock · Sabbath's Theater · The Ghost Writer ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 1 The Counterlife ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 6 American Pastoral · The Anatomy Lesson · The Counterlife · The Ghost Writer · The Plot Against America · The Professor of Desire ·  
National Book Award Wins 2 Sabbath's Theater · Goodbye, Columbus ·  
National Book Award Nominations 6 My Life As a Man · Sabbath's Theater · The Anatomy Lesson · The Counterlife · The Ghost Writer · Goodbye, Columbus ·  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 3 Operation Shylock · The Human Stain · Everyman ·  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 3 Operation Shylock · The Human Stain · Everyman ·  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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