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Philip Roth: Novels and Stories 1959-1962: Goodbye, Columbus & Five Short Stories / Letting Go (Library of America) [Hardcover]

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Item description for Philip Roth: Novels and Stories 1959-1962: Goodbye, Columbus & Five Short Stories / Letting Go (Library of America) by Philip Roth...

An authoritative reader's edition of key writings by the provocative author includes the National Book Award-winning Goodbye, Columbus and the trenchant psychological portrait, Letting Go.

Publishers Description
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.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   913
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 8.25" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 18, 2005
Publisher   Library of America
ISBN  1931082790  
ISBN13  9781931082792  

Availability  0 units.

More About Philip Roth

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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. 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 awards: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. Roth is the only living American novelist to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. In 2011 he received the National Humanities Medal at the White House, and was later named the fourth recipient of the Man Booker International Prize.

Philip Roth currently resides in Newark. Philip Roth was born in 1933.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > English > American Literature
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( R ) > Roth, Philip
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > General
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > United States > General
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Collections & Readers

Reviews - What do customers think about Philip Roth: Novels and Stories 1959-1962: Goodbye, Columbus & Five Short Stories / Letting Go (Library of America)?

Where greatness began  Dec 1, 2005
Philip Roth is a giant of American literature, and this select volume by the Library Of America is a perfect addition to everyone who cares about great literature and likes to see where the greatness began and how it grows in the world of literature. Philip Roth's stature is right up there with Twain, Whitman, Hawthorne, Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, and Faulkner. He writes with clarity, and honesty about life, love, death, and has a sense of humor that is sometimes so subtle it is missed. To complain about the size of the print on the binding is as irrelevant as it is mean spirited. Great writers provide substance, how the publisher presents it is of little real consequence. This, and the second volume are a must for all bibliophiles.

The one star is not for Philip Roth, who of course is a major American novelist. The one star is for the book designer. Is Philip Roth such an incomparably great writer that, unlike James and Faulkner and Melville, his name needs to be emblazoned in giant white letters on the spine of the book? For the first time in the LOA series, the author's name does not appear in horizontal white calligraphic script; instead, it appears in giant white letters running vertically the length of the spine. So when you look at your bookshelves loaded with LOA volumes, "ROTH" leaps out at you.

I grow increasingly disenchanted with the LOA. It started promisingly enough, with the Northwestern-Newberry texts of Melville, the Univ. of California/Mark Twain Project texts for Twain, the Polk/Blotner texts for Faulkner, etc. Major writers complete in the most authoritative texts available -- a simple recipe for success.

Now, to fill its overly ambitious, overly prolific publishing schedule, LOA publishes journalism and second- and third-rate authors such as Dashell Hammett, Dawn Powell, and Paul Bowles. Why? Partially, at least, because the copyright on these authors' works is owned by Random House/Vintage, which seems to have a death grip on what LOA publishes. Commercial interest has, inevitably, overridden and diluted the initial vision of a canon of truly great American literature.

Not to mention that the series started with 1400- or 1500-page volumes being the norm. New volumes routinely have half that number of pages. The bean counters are doing math somewhere...

My two cents: publish fewer volumes and concentrate on the indisputably major authors. (Where is Melville's poetry?!) And publish no works by writers whose work has not passed out of copyright and into the public domain. Let time do its work of sifting out the writers who truly matter. Instant canonization is a farce. Unlike France with its comparable Pleiade series, America is a young country -- so of course the series will have fewer volumes. So what? LOA is sacrificing quality for quantity and going for the almighty dollar.

The stories tell us a star is born The novel a disappointment  Sep 5, 2005
The stories announce Roth to the world. The long title story 'Goodbye Columbus' seems to announce that a successor to F. Scott Fitzgerald has at last appeared in the world of American writing. The freshness, the youth , the energy, the romanticism tempered by irony. 'Goodbye Columbus' is not Gatsby but it signals the coming of a great new star.
In the other stories too Roth appears with a mastery beyond his age, a techical skill and brilliance, a power of irony, a delightful humor.
He also comes with an offensive irrevence and critical view of Jewish American middle - class hypocrisy. But I believe that as Roth himself would later intimate even the fiercest of that criticism ( as it would come late in the true genius work, 'Portnoy') bore in it a tremendous amount of real feeling, identification, love.
Roth too is a superemely American writer concerned with the broader American destiny and meaning. His politics are not to my taste but one feels in his writing a real sense of the touch and taste of American life, an exuberant appreciation.
These are the first writings of what will become a major American writer.
It is interesting that the novel is in my judgment a flat disappointment. And Roth's career does have many flops mixed in with the gems. Perhaps that is the price of experiment or speaking in many voices.
But the opening stories, the 'Goodbye Columbus' collection is a winner.

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