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  • Published: 6 June 1995
  • ISBN: 9780099399018
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99

Portnoy's Complaint




Philip Roth's hilarious novel about sex, growing up, psychoanalysis, now reissued in electric new backlist style

'The most outrageously funny book about sex written' Guardian
Portnoy's Complaint n. [after Alexander Portnoy (1933-)]:A disorder in which strongly-felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature.

Portnoy's Complaint tells the tale of young Jewish lawyer Alexander Portnoy and his scandalous sexual confessions to his psychiatrist.

As narrated by Portnoy, he takes the reader on a journey through his childhood to adolescence to present day while articulating his sexual desire, frustration and neurosis in shockingly candid ways.

Hysterically funny and daringly intimate, Portnoy's Complaint was an immediate bestseller upon its publication and elevated Roth to an international literary celebrity.

  • Published: 6 June 1995
  • ISBN: 9780099399018
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Philip Roth

Philip Roth was born in Newark, New Jersey on 19 March 1933. The second child of second-generation Americans, Bess and Herman Roth, Roth grew up in the largely Jewish community of Weequahic, a neighbourhood he was to return to time and again in his writing. After graduating from Weequahic High School in 1950, he attended Bucknell University, Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago, where he received a scholarship to complete his M.A. in English Literature.

In 1959, Roth published Goodbye, Columbus – a collection of stories, and a novella – for which he received the National Book Award. Ten years later, the publication of his fourth novel, Portnoy’s Complaint, brought Roth both critical and commercial success, firmly securing his reputation as one of America’s finest young writers. Roth was the author of thirty-one books, including those that were to follow the fortunes of Nathan Zuckerman, and a fictional narrator named Philip Roth, through which he explored and gave voice to the complexities of the American experience in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries.

Roth’s lasting contribution to literature was widely recognised throughout his lifetime, both in the US and abroad. Among other commendations he was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the International Man Booker Prize, twice the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award, and presented with the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal by Presidents Clinton and Obama, respectively.

Philip Roth died on 22 May 2018 at the age of eighty-five having retired from writing six years previously.

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Praise for Portnoy's Complaint

The most scandalous book of the year and probably the decade.

John Sutherland, The Times

The most outrageously funny book about sex yet written

Guardian

A hysterically funny monologue which has already added a new prototype to American literature... Anyone who can recall anything of the awesome mystery and humiliating farce of growing up will find this book compulsive reading. And it is blessedly, extremely funny

Spectator

Philip Roth's gift for fantasy, his superb dialogue, his ability to evoke places and atmospheres, make Portnoy's Complaint at once hilariously, scabrously funny and deeply moving

Financial Times

Alexander Portnoy is a great comic character. He is going to be for many readers what his mother was for him: The Most Unforgettable Character I've Met

New Statesman

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