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American Pastoral, The Human Stain, The Plot Against America
Philip Roth has been one of the most important writers of fiction in the United States during the latter part of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Philip Roth collects new essays by noted Roth scholars on three essential novels appearing in recent years, American Pastoral (1997), The Human Stain (2000), and The Plot Against America (2004). The volume illuminates Roth’s multilayered perceptions of twentieth-century America as a place, a culture, and an idea that shapes its inhabitants in profound ways. Focusing on such topics as ethnicity, race, the family, trauma, American history, historiography, fact vs. fiction, narrative form, and Roth’s literary antecedents, the essays in Philip Roth offer fresh readings of Roth’s penetrating explorations of the American self and the American scene. The contributors probe this American Jewish writer’s insights into the paradoxes of freedom, the politics of identity, especially as defined by racial or ethnic affiliation, and the possibilities available for self-definition and transformation within modern American history and culture.