When She Was Good

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Random House, Dec 23, 2010 - Fiction - 320 pages
4 Reviews
When she was still a child, Lucy Nelson had her irresponsible, alcoholic father thrown in jail. Since then, Lucy has become a furious adolescent - raging against middle-class life and provincial American piety - intent on reforming the men around her: especially her incompetent mama's boy of a husband, Roy. As time rolls on, Lucy struggles to free herself of the terrible disappointment engendered by her father, and is forever yearning for the man he could never be. It is with scalpel-like precision that Roth depicts the rage, the hatred and the ferocity of feeling that soon takes hold of Lucy's life.

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User Review  - jeffome - LibraryThing

This is my second Roth and I have to say he captivates me immediately with his writing style, and i feel myself drawn swiftly into a story into which very little is happening, yet i did not want to ... Read full review

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User Review  - evilmoose - LibraryThing

Not an easy read, with so many characters behaving so horribly to each other so much of the time. Lucy's story felt more like it was about depression and mental illness than anger and morality though ... 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 craftsmanship’ 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’. In 2011 Roth won the International Man Booker Prize.

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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