American Pastoral

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Random House, 2011 - Domestic fiction - 423 pages
66 Reviews
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 postwar America. But everything he loves is lost when the country begins to run amok in the turbulent 1960s. Not even the most private, well-intentioned citizens, it seems, gets to sidestep the sweep of history. "American Pastoral" is the story of a fortunate American's rise and fall - of a strong, confident master of social equilibrium overwhelmed by the forces of social disorder. For the Swede is not allowed to stay forever blissful inside the beloved hundred-and-seventy-year-old stone farmhouse, in rural Old Rimrock, where he lives with his pretty wife - the college sweetheart who was Miss New Jersey of 1949 - and the lively, precocious daughter who is the apple of his eye. The apple of his eye, that is, until she grows up to be a revolutionary terrorist bent on destroying her father's paradise. "American Pastoral" presents a vivid portrait of how the innocence of Swede Levov is swept away by the times - of how everything industriously created by his family in America over three generations is left in a shambles by the explosion of a bomb in his own bucolic backyard.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SeriousGrace - LibraryThing

Where does one begin when trying to describe American Pastoral? The jumping off point might be to say this: in the beginning of AP reoccurring character Nathan Zuckerman is attending his 45th high ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dele2451 - LibraryThing

422 out of 423 these printed pages are as close to written perfection in a novel as I've ever read. One caution: Do NOT read this if you are in desperate need of something to restore your faith in humanity. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

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‚e(tm) Prize for ‚e~the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003‚e"2004‚e(tm).

Recently Roth received PEN‚e(tm)s two most prestigious prizes: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award ‚e~for a body of work . . . of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship‚e(tm) and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, given to a writer whose ‚e~scale of achievement over a sustained career . . . places him or her in the highest rank of American literature‚e(tm). 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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