Philip Roth’s brilliant conclusion to his eloquent trilogy of post-war America – a magnificent successor to American Pastoral and I Married a Communist
It is 1998, the year America is plunged into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town a distinguished classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues allege that he is a racist. The charge is unfounded, the persecution needless, but the truth about Silk would astonish even his most virulent accuser.
Coleman Silk has a secret, one which has been kept for fifty years from his wife, his four children, his colleagues, and his friends, including the writer Nathan Zuckerman. It is Zuckerman who comes upon Silk's secret, and sets out to unearth his former buried life, piecing the biographical fragments back together. This is against backdrop of seismic shifts in American history, which take on real, human urgency as Zuckerman discovers more and more about Silk's past and his futile search for renewal and regeneration.
‘An extraordinary book - bursting with rage, humming with ideas, full of dazzling sleights of hand'- Sunday Telegraph
The Human Stain pulses with the strengths that make Roth a prime contender for the status of the most impressive novelist now writing in and about America
An extraordinary book - bursting with rage, humming with ideas, full of dazzling sleights of hand'
One of his very best... There are passages of such sustained brilliance here that I found myself going over them again and again in gaping disbelief. An extraordinary book - bursting with rage, humming with ideas, full of dazzling sleights of hand
A novel so furious in its telling, with a plot so intricate in its construction that it is infused with a kind of diabolic joy. A masterpiece
[A] tender, shocking and incendiary story on the failure of the American dream refracted through the prism of race
Wedding season took a hit this summer, so we've made a bouquet of the best scenes in literature to get lost in before your big day can arrive.
Here are five quotes from The Plot Against America, a counterfactual nightmare and a powerfully insightful tale of tyranny taking over, that can teach us about the present.