American Pastoral

American Pastoral

Summary

'A tragedy of classical proportions...a magnificent novel' The Times

Discover the Pulitzer-prize winning novel that confirmed Philip Roth as one of the greatest American writers.


'Swede' Levov is living the American dream.


He glides through life cocooned by his devoted family, lucrative business, sporting prowess and good looks. He is the embodiment of thriving, post-war America, land of liberty and hope.

Until one sunny day in 1968, when Swede's daughter, Merry, commits an outlandishly savage act of political terrorism and the Levov family is plunged into mayhem. Extraordinarily nuanced and poignant, American Pastoral is the first in an eloquent trilogy of post-war American novels that still resonates today.
_________________

PRAISE FOR AMERICAN PASTORAL:
'Angry, grieving, witty, acute' Sunday Times
'A profound and personal meditation on the changes in the American psyche over the last fifty years' Financial Times
'A momentous novel' Observer
'Utterly tragic and compelling' Tatler

Reviews

  • Marvellous... Raging and elegaic
    Guardian

About the author

Philip Roth

Philip Roth was born in Newark, New Jersey on 19 March 1933. The second child of second-generation Americans, Bess and Herman Roth, Roth grew up in the largely Jewish community of Weequahic, a neighbourhood he was to return to time and again in his writing. After graduating from Weequahic High School in 1950, he attended Bucknell University, Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago, where he received a scholarship to complete his M.A. in English Literature.

In 1959, Roth published Goodbye, Columbus – a collection of stories, and a novella – for which he received the National Book Award. Ten years later, the publication of his fourth novel, Portnoy’s Complaint, brought Roth both critical and commercial success, firmly securing his reputation as one of America’s finest young writers. Roth was the author of thirty-one books, including those that were to follow the fortunes of Nathan Zuckerman, and a fictional narrator named Philip Roth, through which he explored and gave voice to the complexities of the American experience in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries.

Roth’s lasting contribution to literature was widely recognised throughout his lifetime, both in the US and abroad. Among other commendations he was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the International Man Booker Prize, twice the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award, and presented with the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal by Presidents Clinton and Obama, respectively.

Philip Roth died on 22 May 2018 at the age of eighty-five having retired from writing six years previously.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more