American author Philip Roth, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for his novel American Pastoral has died at 85, according to The NY Times.
Roth, who started out as an actor, was born in Newark New Jersey in it’s lower middle class, Jewish neighborhood of Weequahic.
It was his birthplace where Roth’s fiction would generally take place.
He studied for a masters degree in English literature at the University of Chicago and started writing short stories.
In his novel, American Pastoral, for which he won the Pulitzer, Seymour ‘Swede’ Levov, a successful Jewish businessman and former High School football star goes on to marry a beauty queen. They have a daughter, who turns out to have a stutter. But that’s the least of the issue. Levov’s happy, conventional middle class life is turned upside down by the political turmoil of the 1960’s. His daughter watching the chaos and violence of the war on television becomes increasingly radical in her beliefs.
I won’t spoil it by writing any more. It’s a compelling read and I would recommend it to anyone. Especially now in these very divided political times.
There is also a movie based on the novel, starring Ewan McGregor and Jennifer Connolly. The daughter is played by Dakota Fanning. I saw it on Amazon Prime, so you might want to check it out. It’s very good.
Some of Philip Roth’s other works include: The Ghost Writer, Zuckerman Unbound, The Anatomy Lesson, The Prague Orgy, I Married a Communist, The Counterlife, The Human Stain, Exit Ghost.
You can read more about Philip Roth here: Philip Roth- Towering Novelist, who explored lust, Jewish life, and America, dies at 85.