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Philip Roth Books In Order

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Publication Order of American Trilogy Books

American Pastoral (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Married a Communist (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Human Stain (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of David Kepesh Books

The Breast (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Professor of Desire (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dying Animal (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Nathan Zuckerman Books

with
My Life as a Man (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ghost Writer (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Zuckerman Unbound (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Anatomy Lesson (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Prague Orgy (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Exit Ghost (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Letting Go (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
When She Was Good (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Portnoy's Complaint (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Our Gang (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Great American Novel (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Counterlife (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deception (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Patrimony (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Operation Shylock (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sabbath's Theater (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
His Mistress's Voice (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Plot Against America (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Everyman (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Indignation (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Humbling (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nemesis (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Conversion of the Jews (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Philip Roth Reader (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

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

Publication Order of Anthologies

New American Review 10(1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
First Fiction: An Anthology of the First Published Stories by Famous Writers(1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tales for Travellers: Short Stories: Collection 1(1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Good Parts(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wonderful Town(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Short Stories of the Century(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Baseball: a Literary Anthology(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fathers: A Literary Anthology(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

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.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Philip Roth

One Response to “Philip Roth”

  1. Bob Gardner: 2 years ago

    I have found as fresh and fascinating voice in Philip Roth having read ten of his titles and looking forward to collecting the remainder of his works. Thank you for this information.

    Reply

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