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Library of America Philip Roth Edition

Philip Roth
Philip Roth: Novels 1967-1972 (LOA #158) by Philip Roth
Philip Roth: Novels 2001-2007 (LOA #236) by Philip Roth
Philip Roth: Why Write?  (LOA #300) by Philip Roth

Library of America Philip Roth Edition : Titles in Order

Book 10
America’s most celebrated writer returns with a definitive edition of his essential statements on literature, his controversial novels, and the writing life, including including six pieces published here for the first time and many others newly revised.

Throughout a unparalleled literary career that includes two National Book Awards (Goodbye, Columbus, 1959 and Sabbath’s Theater, 1995), the Pulitzer Prize in fiction (American Pastoral, 1997), the National Book Critics Circle Award (The Counterlife, 1986), and the National Humanities Medal (awarded by President Obama in 2011), among many other honors, Philip Roth has produced an extraordinary body of nonfiction writing on a wide range of topics: his own work and that of the writers he admires, the creative process, and the state of American culture. This work is collected for the first time in Why Write?, the tenth and final volume in the Library of America’s definitive Philip Roth edition. Here is Roth’s selection of the indispensable core of Reading Myself and Others, the entirety of the 2001 book Shop Talk, and “Explanations,” a collection of fourteen later pieces brought together here for the first time, six never before published. Among the essays gathered are “My Uchronia,” an account of the genesis of The Plot Against America, a novel grounded in the insight that “all the assurances are provisional, even here in a two-hundred-year-old democracy”; “Errata,” the unabridged version of the “Open Letter to Wikipedia” published on The New Yorker’s website in 2012 to counter the online encyclopedia’s egregious errors about his life and work; and “The Ruthless Intimacy of Fiction,” a speech delivered on the occasion of his eightieth birthday that celebrates the “refractory way of living” of Sabbath’s Theater’s Mickey Sabbath. Also included are two lengthy interviews given after Roth’s retirement, which take stock of a lifetime of work.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 9
What kind of choices fatally shape a life? How does the individual withstand the onslaught of circumstance? These are the dark questions that animate Nemeses, the quartet of thematically related short novels that are published here together for the first time in this final volume of The Library of America’s definitive edition of Philip Roth’s collected works. Everyman (2006) is the sparse and affecting story of one man’s lifelong skirmish with mortality. Set against the backdrop of the Korean War, Indignation (2008) is the extraordinary narrative of a young man struggling against the conformity of McCarthy-era America and his father’s overwhelming fear. In The Humbling (2009), aging actor Simon Axler embarks on a risky and aberrant affair in a desperate attempt to recoup his lost artistic gifts. And in Nemesis (2010), Roth offers an exacting portrait of the emotions—fear and anger, bewilderment and grief—bred by a polio epidemic in Newark in the summer of 1944.Philip Roth is the only living American novelist to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by The Library of America. He has received the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award twice, the PEN/Faulkner Award three times, the National Medal of Arts, and the Gold Medal in Fiction, the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 8
The definitive Philip Roth edition continues with three novels written in his late sixties and early seventies. The Dying Animal (2001) marks the final return of David Kepesh from The Breast (1972) and The Professor of Desire (1977). Now an eminent cultural critic in his sixties, Kepesh expertly seduces a beautiful twenty-four-year-old daughter of Cuban exiles only to find himself torn by sexual jealousy and the anguish of loss. As The Plot Against America (2004) begins, aviation hero Charles A. Lindbergh has defeated Franklin Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election, and fear invades every Jewish household in America. Lindbergh has publicly blamed the Jews for pushing America toward a pointless war with Nazi Germany, and now in office, he negotiates a cordial “understanding” with Adolf Hitler. What follows for Jews during the Lindbergh presidency—most particularly in the Newark household of the boy Philip Roth—is the subject of an extraordinary work of historical imagination. With Exit Ghost (2007) Roth rings down the curtain on perhaps his greatest literary creation. Nathan Zuckerman returns to a radically changed New York, the city he left eleven years before, where a rash decision draws him into a vivid drama rife with implications for his future, and his past.Philip Roth is the only living American novelist to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by The Library of America. He has received the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award twice, the PEN/Faulkner Award three times, the National Medal of Arts, and the Gold Medal in Fiction, the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 7
Gathered together for the first time in this seventh volume of The Library of America’s definitive edition of Philip Roth’s collected works is the acclaimed American Trilogy, a major milestone in contemporary American literature. In American Pastoral (1997), Swede Levov is wrenched from the tranquility of his domestic life and into the turbulent 1960s by his cherished daughter, an antiwar terrorist. I Married a Communist (1998), a story of betrayal set in America’s anti-Communist 1940s, recounts the rise and fall of radio star Ira Ringold, exposed by his wife as “an American taking his orders from Moscow.” The Human Stain (2000) is set in 1998, when America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president; in a small New England college town an aging classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist. The charge is a lie, but the real truth about Silk would astonish his most virulent accuser.

Philip Roth is the only living novelist whose works are being collected in the Library of America series. The nine-volume edition will be completed in 2013, for Roth’s 80th birthday.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 6
The Library of America’s definitive edition of Philip Roth’s collected works continues with two novels that heralded the beginning of a more than decade-long creative explosion-one remarkable in an older writer and hailed by critics as unparalleled in American literary history. In the diabolically imaginative Operation Shylock (1993), a character named Philip Roth encounters a look-alike who claims Roth’s identity and who tours Israel promoting a bizarre reverse exodus of the Jews-proselytizing the “real” Roth is intent on stopping, even if it means impersonating his impersonator.
“This splendidly wicked book” is how the critic Frank Kermode described Sabbath’s Theater (1995), a comic masterpiece of epic proportions whose gargantuan hero, Mickey Sabbath, grieving the loss of his unsurpassable mistress, embarks on a turbulent journey into his past besieged by the ghosts of those who loved and hated him most.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 5
For the last half century, the novels of Philip Roth have re-energized American fiction and redefined its possibilities, leading the critic Harold Bloom to proclaim Roth ?our foremost novelist since Faulkner.? Roth?s comic genius, his imaginative daring, his courage in exploring uncomfortable truths, and his assault on political, cultural, and sexual orthodoxies have made him one of the essential writers of our time. By special arrangement with the author, The Library of America continues the definitive edition of Roth?s collected works.

This fifth volume of The Library of America?s definitive edition of Philip Roth?s collected works presents four books that exemplify the description of Roth, proposed by British novelist Anthony Burgess, as a writer ?who never steps twice into the same river.? The Counterlife (1986) is a novel told from conflicting perspectives about people enacting drastic dreams of renewal and escape. The Facts (1988)?the first of the ?Roth Books??is a novelist?s autobiography in which the author presents his own battles defictionalized and unadorned. In the second Roth book, Deception (1990), a married American named Philip, living in London, and the married Englishwoman who is his mistress meet sporadically in a secret trysting place where the woman eloquently reveals herself to her lover as they talk before and after making love. In the third Roth book, Patrimony (1991), the author watches as his 86-year-old father, Herman Roth, battles a fatal brain tumor.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 4
For the last half century, the novels of Philip Roth have re-energized American fiction and redefined its possibilities, leading the critic Harold Bloom to proclaim Roth “our foremost novelist since Faulkner.” Roth’s comic genius, his imaginative daring, his courage in exploring uncomfortable truths, and his assault on political, cultural, and sexual orthodoxies have made him one of the essential writers of our time. By special arrangement with the author, The Library of America continues the definitive edition of Roth’s collected works.

This fourth volume presents the trilogy and epilogue that constitute Zuckerman Bound (1985), Roth’s wholly original investigation into the unforeseen consequences of art-mainly in libertarian America and then, by contrast, in Soviet-suppressed Eastern Europe-during the latter half of the twentieth century. The Ghost Writer (1979) introduces Nathan Zuckerman in the 1950s, a budding writer infatuated with the Great Books, discovering the contradictory claims of literature and experience while an overnight guest in the secluded New England farmhouse of his literary idol, E. I. Lonoff. Zuckerman Unbound (1981) finds him far from Lonoff’s domain-the scene is Manhattan as the sensationalizing 1960s are coming to an end. Zuckerman, in his mid-thirties, is suffering the immediate aftershock of literary celebrity. The high-minded prot?g? of E. I. Lonoff has become a notorious superstar. The Anatomy Lesson (1984) takes place largely in the hospital isolation ward that Zuckerman has made of his Upper East Side apartment. It is Watergate time, 1973, and to Zuckerman the only other American who seems to be in as much trouble as himself is Richard Nixon. Zuckerman, at forty, is beset with crippling and unexplained physical pain; he wonders if the cause might not be his own inflammatory work. In The Prague Orgy (1985), entries from Zuckerman’s notebooks describing his 1976 sojourn among the outcast artists of Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia reveal the major theme of Zuckerman Bound from a new perspective that provides the stinging conclusion to this richly ironic and intricately designed magnum opus. As an added feature, this volume publishes for the first time Roth’s unproduced television screenplay for The Prague Orgy, featuring new characters and scenes that do not appear in the novella.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 3
This third volume of The Library of America’s definitive edition of Philip Roth’s collected works presents three markedly different novels that together trace a crucial period in the bold evolution of one of America’s indispensable novelists.

In The Great American Novel (1973), a hilarious, bizarre, strangely poignant tall tale of American pieties and American lunacy, Roth lifts the lid on the suppressed history of the homeless Ruppert Mundys of baseball’s despised and vanquished third major league, turning the national pastime into unfettered picaresque farce. The cast of improbable characters includes: Gil Gamesh, the pitcher who actually tried to kill the umpire; John Baal, the ex-con first baseman, “The Babe Ruth of the Big House,” who never hit a home run sober; and the House Un-American Activities Committee.
 
My Life as a Man (1974) is Roth’s most blistering novel, the savage, sometimes lurid account of the all-out battle waged between the young writer Peter Tarnopol and the wife who is his nemesis, his demon, and his muse. This is the treacherous world of Strindberg nearly a century later: the story of a fierce marital tragedy of obsession and blindness and desperate need.
 
The volume closes with The Professor of Desire (1977), which charts the second sexual metamorphosis of David Kepesh, protagonist of The Breast. Roth follows Kepesh, an adventurous man of intelligence and feeling, into a vast wilderness of erotic possibility. The Professor of Desire is the troublingly affecting novel about the dilemmas of desire that prompted Milan Kundera to proclaim Roth “a great historian of modern eroticism.”

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 2
In this, the second volume of The Library of America’s definitive edition of the collected works of Philip Roth, published by special arrangement with the author, the range and inventiveness of Roth’s fiction is dazzlingly displayed in four extraordinarily diverse works.

When She Was Good (1967) is the trenchant portrait of Lucy Nelson, a young midwestern woman whose perception of her own suffering turns her into a ferocious force, “enemy-ridden and unforgivingly defiant,” as Roth would later describe her. A small-town 1940s America of restrictive social pressures and foreclosed opportunities provides the novel’s background.

The publication of the hilarious Portnoy’s Complaint (1969) was a cultural event that turned Roth into a reluctant celebrity. The confession of a bewildered psychoanalytic patient thrust through life by his unappeasable sexuality yet held back by the iron grip of his unforgettable childhood, Portnoy unleashed Roth’s comic virtuosity and opened new avenues for American fiction.

In Our Gang (1971), described by Anthony Burgess as a “brilliant satire in the real Swift tradition,” Roth effects a savage takedown of the administration of Richard Nixon (who figures here as Trick E. Dixon). Written before the revelations of the Watergate scandal, Our Gang continues to resonate as a broad and outraged response to the clownish hypocrisy and moral theatrics of the American political scene.

The Kafkaesque excursion The Breast (1972) introduces David Kepesh in the first volume of a trilogy that continues with The Professor of Desire (1977) and The Dying Animal (2001). The Breast prompted Cynthia Ozick to remark, “One knows when one is reading something that will permanently enter the culture.”

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 1
For the last half century, the novels of Philip Roth have re-energized American fiction and redefined its possibilities. Roth’s comic genius, his imaginative daring, his courage in exploring uncomfortable truths, and his assault on political, cultural, and sexual orthodoxies have made him one of the essential writers of our time. By special arrangement with the author, The Library of America now inaugurates the definitive edition of Roth’s collected works. This first volume presents Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories, the book that established Roth’s reputation on publication in 1959 and for which he won the National Book Award, and his first novel, Letting Go (1962).

The title novella, Goodbye, Columbus, the story of a summer romance between a poor young man from Newark and a rich Radcliffe co-ed, is both a tightly wrought tale of youthful desire and a satiric gem that takes aim at the comfortable affluence of the postwar boom. Here and in the stories that accompany it, including “The Conversion of the Jews” and “Defender of the Faith,” Roth depicts Jewish lives in 1950s America with an unflinching sharpness of observation.

In Letting Go, a sprawling novel set largely against the backdrop of Chicago in the 1950s, Roth portrays the moral dilemmas of young people cast precipitously into adulthood, and in the process describes a skein of social and family responsibilities as they are brought into focus by issues of marriage, abortion, adoption, friendship, and career. The novel’s expansiveness provides a wide scope for Roth’s gift for vivid characterization, and in his protagonist Gabe Wallach he creates a nuanced portrait of a responsive young academic whose sense of morality draws him into the ordeals of others with unforeseen consequences.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
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