When She Was Good

Front Cover
Random House, Dec 23, 2010 - Fiction - 320 pages
24 Reviews

In this mesmerizing, funny, chilling novel. the setting is a small town in the 1940s Midwest, the subject the heart of a wounded and ferociously moralistic young woman.

When she was still a child, Lucy Nelson had her alcoholic failure of a father thrown in jail. Ever since then she has been trying to reform the men around her, even if that ultimately means destroying herself in the process. With his unerring portraits of Lucy and her hapless, childlike husband, Roy, Roth has created an uncompromising work of fictional realism, a vision of provincial American piety, yearning and discontent that is at once pitiless and compassionate.

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If so, it seems not to have been the best advice. - Goodreads
I think Roth is a excellent and compelling writer. - Goodreads
... exception so far: The Plot Against America). - Goodreads
This was a great introduction to Roth, however. - Goodreads
And, oh, god--the ending. - Goodreads

Review: When She Was Good

User Review  - Derek Ganzhorn - Goodreads

As I'm sure is true of many of you one here who have read When She Was Good or are contemplating reading it, I have been reading a lot of Roth lately and wanted to get a taste of his pre-Portnoy ... Read full review

Review: When She Was Good

User Review  - Margie - Goodreads

A well-written and insightful but difficult emotionally. Definitely a product of its time in terms of painting the woman protagonist as the bad guy by sidestepping her own clear vulnerabilities Read full review

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About the author (2010)

In 1997, Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize 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, previously awarded to John Dos Passos, William Faulkner and Saul Bellow, among others. 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 'for a body of work...of enduring originality and consummate craftmanship' and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American Fiction, given to a writer whose 'scale of achievement over a sustained career...places him or her in the highest rank of American literature.'

Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. The last of the eight volumes is scheduled for publication in 2013.

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