An ordinary man finds that his life has been made extraordinary by the catastrophic intrusion of history, when, in 1968, his adored daughter plants a bomb that kills a stranger, hurling her father out of the longed-for American pastoral and into the ingenious American berserk. “Never before has Roth written with clear conviction”.–“Time”.

18.31

 

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Here is Philip Roth’s masterpiece–an elegy for the American 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 longed-for American pastoral and into the indigenous American berserk. Compulsively readable, propelled by sorrow, rage, and a deep compassion for its characters, American Pastoral gives us Philip Roth at the height of his powers.