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Philip Roth Books In Order

Publication Order of David Kepesh Books

The Breast (1972) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Professor of Desire (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dying Animal (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Nathan Zuckerman Books

My Life as a Man (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ghost Writer (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Zuckerman Unbound (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Anatomy Lesson (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Prague Orgy (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Exit Ghost (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of American Trilogy Books

American Pastoral (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
I Married a Communist (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Human Stain (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Letting Go (1962) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
When She Was Good (1967) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Portnoy's Complaint (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Our Gang (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Great American Novel (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Counterlife (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Deception (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Patrimony (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Operation Shylock (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sabbath's Theater (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
His Mistress's Voice (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Plot Against America (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Everyman (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Indignation (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Humbling (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nemesis (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Goodbye, Columbus (1959) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Philip Roth Reader (1980) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Chapbooks

The Conversion of the Jews (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Reading Myself and Others (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
American West's Acid Rain Test (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Facts (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shop Talk (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Writer at Work (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Notes For My Biographer (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Why Write? (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Philip Roth was a bestselling American author who wrote novels and short stories. A National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, Roth died in 2018.

+Biography
Philip Roth was born in 1933 in Newark, New Jersey to Bess and Herman. Philip’s parents were second-generation Americans of Jewish ancestry. Weequahic High School in Newark appears in Philip’s literary works because his days at the institution were some of the most transformative of his life.

The author remembers being particularly intelligent and witty yet also quite humorous. A former student of Bucknell University (Pennsylvania) from where he got his Bachelor’s Degree in English, and the University of Chicago from where he acquired his Masters in English Literature, Philip knew he wanted to pursue writing from a relatively early age.

And even after he left college, his talents were such that he was called upon to teach at the University of Chicago’s writing program.

As was often the case with authors born in that era, Philip Roth was forced to put his writing dreams to the side when the war came into the picture and he was drawn into the army.

Fortunately, a back injury during basic training allowed him to return to civilian life. The author would eventually find his way back into the army, serving for a two-year period but only after completing teaching stints at the Universities of Iowa, Princeton, and Pennsylvania.

+Literary Career
Before garnering a reputation for producing ingenious and sensual novels, Philip Roth wrote essays, articles, and criticisms for magazines. His name gained some renown when he wrote ‘Goodbye, Columbus’, the book not only attracting critical acclaim but also receiving the National Book Award.

He followed it up with a couple of short stories and a full-length novel before finally producing ‘Portnoy’s Complaint’, the controversial book that saw his star skyrocket.

A number of Philip Roth’s novels and short stories are autobiographical in nature. They feature themes and references that are tied to Philip’s own personal life. Many of Philip’s protagonists were drawn directly from aspects of his own personality.

The author repeatedly explores the plight of Jewish American individuals struggling to carve out a living in an alien land even as they attempt to escape the weight of their parents’ influence.

Philip was repeatedly criticized for the opinions his books seemed to support and put across. The author repeatedly argued that Jewish Americans had to eliminate the elements of tradition that kept them bound if they were to live fulfilling lives.

He wasn’t afraid to publish strong social and political commentaries most of which were veiled by the satirical nature of his works. For the most part, Philip’s work was very pessimistic about the future, probably the result of his personal experiences.

Chief amongst those experiences was his encounter with Margaret Martinson, a woman he married in 1959 and then divorced later, only for her to die in a car accident. Philip never truly recovered from her death and proceeded to use her person as a template for some of the female characters of his future novels.

The author was quite open about his atheistic beliefs. He was heard saying that he looked forward to a time when religion would eventually leave the world because then humanity would finally achieve true happiness.

Philip wasn’t quite as polite about religious people. He often boasted about the fact that for all the loneliness and anxiety that assaulted him, he had never felt compelled to give into the trappings of religion.

These opinions from the author persisted even after he married and divorced Claire Bloom, his second wife.

Philip was 85 when he died. Heart failure was identified as the cause of death.

Opinions about the author, not only his works but his personal life, have changed over the years. Some voices have accused him of being a control freak and a sexist. Others have suggested that he rose to fame not for any literary gifts he had but because of his penchant for eliciting controversy.

The author was fortunate enough to see many of his novels receive film adaptations, this including ‘American Pastoral’, ‘The Dying Animal’, ‘The Human Stain’, and ‘The Ghostwriter’.

+American Pastoral
Seymour Levov had a pretty ordinary American life. He was a family man working to keep his father’s factory on its feet. And he had a great daughter called Merry that seemed to be thriving in Post-War America.

But then the turbulence of the 1960s struck and Merry was swept away by the political unrest of the time, engaging in activities that would ultimately bring her father’s idyllic life to ruin.

This novel features one of Philip Roth’s most popular protagonists. Also called the Swede, Levov is a Jewish man with Viking features who could have achieved success on a much larger scale.

But he allowed his father to talk him into taking up the family trade and inheriting his factory. Having achieved the American dream in its entirety, Levov must come to terms with the negative attitudes of his young daughter who takes extreme measures to protest the war in Vietnam.

+The Plot Against America
Charles A. Lindbergh might be a hero to some because of his aviation antics and adventures but he is also an isolationist. So when Franklin Roosevelt loses to him in the presidential elections, the Jewish community in America grinds to a standstill as fear pervades their households.

The Plot against America takes an engaging look at the alternate path history would have taken if Charles Lindbergh, a famous historical figure had brought his anti-Semitic views to light and won the presidential elections in 1940.

Philip Roth plays the role of the narrator. Inhabiting a Jewish child observing events unfold in Newark, Roth tries to imagine the sort of horror that might have unfolded as a result.

He imagines the programs that the United States would have put forth to extinguish the Jewish Community and the reactions such changes would have elicited in Jewish households. Conflicts arise both between the Jews and their nation, and Jews and their neighbors, some of whom show a confusing willingness to fall in line with Lindbergh’s plans.

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