Philip Roth

Philip Roth

in Newark, New Jersey, The United States
March 19, 1933



Philip Milton Roth is an American novelist. He gained early literary fame with the 1959 collection Goodbye, Columbus (winner of 1960's National Book Award), cemented it with his 1969 bestseller Portnoy's Complaint, and has continued to write critically-acclaimed works, many of which feature his fictional alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman. The Zuckerman novels began with The Ghost Writer in 1979, and include American Pastoral (1997) (winner of the Pulitzer Prize). In May 2011, he won the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement in fiction.

Average rating: 3.79 · 268,955 ratings · 18,224 reviews · 127 distinct works · Similar authors
American Pastoral

3.92 avg rating — 38,997 ratings — published 1997 — 86 editions
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Portnoy's Complaint

3.69 avg rating — 38,226 ratings — published 1969 — 116 editions
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The Plot Against America

3.67 avg rating — 25,329 ratings — published 2004 — 72 editions
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The Human Stain

3.83 avg rating — 24,134 ratings — published 2000 — 69 editions
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Goodbye, Columbus and Five ...

3.87 avg rating — 11,886 ratings — published 1959 — 74 editions
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3.54 avg rating — 11,729 ratings — published 2006 — 72 editions
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3.68 avg rating — 9,278 ratings — published 2008 — 90 editions
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3.74 avg rating — 8,174 ratings — published 2010 — 71 editions
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The Ghost Writer

3.81 avg rating — 6,815 ratings — published 1979 — 42 editions
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Sabbath's Theater

3.83 avg rating — 6,134 ratings — published 1995 — 49 editions
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More books by Philip Roth…
My Life as a Man The Ghost Writer Zuckerman Unbound The Anatomy Lesson The Prague Orgy The Counterlife American Pastoral
Complete Nathan Zuckerman (10 books)
3.85 avg rating — 88,872 ratings

American Pastoral I Married a Communist The Human Stain
The American Trilogy (3 books)
3.88 avg rating — 67,476 ratings

The Ghost Writer Zuckerman Unbound The Anatomy Lesson The Prague Orgy
Zuckerman Bound (4 books)
3.79 avg rating — 13,412 ratings

Goodbye, Columbus and Five ... Novels, 1967-1972: When She... Novels, 1973-1977: The Grea... Novels and Other Narratives... Zuckerman Bound: The Ghost ... Novels, 1993-1995: Operatio...
Library of America: Philip Roth (8 books)
4.17 avg rating — 1,452 ratings

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“Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise.”
Philip Roth

“The only obsession everyone wants: 'love.' People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you're whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You're whole, and then you're cracked open. ”
Philip Roth, The Dying Animal
tags: love

“You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. You might as well have the brain of a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you're anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you're with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion. ... The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we know we're alive: we're wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that -- well, lucky you.”
Philip Roth, American Pastoral


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