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  • Published: 8 September 1995
  • ISBN: 9780099477518
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $19.99

The Breast



Philip Roth's entire oeuvre - 31 books - to be reissued in electric new Vintage jackets for October 2016

Like a latter-day Gregor Samsa, Professor David Kepesh wakes up one morning to find that he has been transformed. But where Kafka's protagonist turned into a monstrous cockroach, the narrator of Philip Roth's fantasy has become a 155-pound female breast.

What follows is a deliriously funny yet moving exploration of the full implications of Kepesh's metamorphosis; audacious, heretical - as darkly hilarious as it is existentially unnerving - making new the silliness, triviality and wonderful meaninglessness of lived human experience.

  • Published: 8 September 1995
  • ISBN: 9780099477518
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96
  • 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 The Breast

Terrific...inventive and sane and very funny

New York Times Book Review

Roth is a living master

Harold Bloom

Roth's prose is, as ever, elegant and intelligent, delicate even when at its most crude. It sent me back to Kafka - a brave thing to do, but he stands the comparison well

Margaret Drabble

A new shock world of sensual possibility... Need one say again that Roth is an admirable novelist who never steps twice into the same river?

Anthony Burgess

Hilarious, serious, visionary, logical, sexual-philosophical; the ending amazes - the joke takes three steps beyond savagery and satire and turns into a sublimeness of pity. One knows when one is reading something that will permanently enter the culture

Cynthia Ozick

A radical, complex, and moving book

Esquire

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