Seymour "Swede" Levov - a legendary high school athlete, a devoted family man, a hard worker, the prosperous inheritor of his father's Newark glove factory - comes of age in thriving, triumphant postwar America. But everything he loves is lost when the country begins to run amok in the turbulent 1960s. Not even the most private, well-intentioned citizens, it seems, gets to sidestep the sweep of history. "American Pastoral" is the story of a fortunate American's rise and fall - of a strong, confident master of social equilibrium overwhelmed by the forces of social disorder. For the Swede is not allowed to stay forever blissful inside the beloved hundred-and-seventy-year-old stone farmhouse, in rural Old Rimrock, where he lives with his pretty wife - the college sweetheart who was Miss New Jersey of 1949 - and the lively, precocious daughter who is the apple of his eye. The apple of his eye, that is, until she grows up to be a revolutionary terrorist bent on destroying her father's paradise. "American Pastoral" presents a vivid portrait of how the innocence of Swede Levov is swept away by the times - of how everything industriously created by his family in America over three generations is left in a shambles by the explosion of a bomb in his own bucolic backyard.
In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts atthe White House and in 2002 the highest award of the AmericanAcademy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction.He twice won the National Book Award and the NationalBook Critics Circle Award. He won the PEN/FaulknerAward three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America receivedthe Society of American Historians' Prize for "the outstandinghistorical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004."Roth received PEN's two most prestigious awards: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. In 2011 he received the National HumanitiesMedal at the White House, and was later named the fourthrecipient of the Man Booker International Prize. He died in 2018.
"One of Roth's most powerful novels ever...moving, generous and ambitious...a fiercely affecting work of art." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "Dazzling...a wrenching, compassionate, intelligent novel...gorgeous." --Boston Globe "At once expansive and painstakingly detailed.... The pages of American Pastoral crackle with the electricity and zest of a first-rate mind at work." --San Francisco Chronicle