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  • Published: 8 June 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446401194
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

The Counterlife




Reissued in electric new backlist style for October 2016, The Counterlife was lauded by the likes of John Updike, Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, John Banville and James Wood, as well as winning the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
The Counterlife is about people living their dreams of renewal and escape, some of them going so far as to risk their lives to alter their destinies. Wherever they find themselves, the characters of The Counterlife are tempted by the prospect of an alternative existence.

Illuminating these lives in free-fall and transformation is the acrobat mind of novelist Nathan Zuckerman. His is the sceptical, enveloping intelligence that calculates the price that's paid in the struggle to change personal fortune and reshape history, whether in a dentist's office in suburban New Jersey; a tradition-bound English Village in Gloucestershire; a church in London's West End; or in a tiny desert settlement in Israel's occupied West Bank. Shot through with head-turning dualities, as daring as it is moving, The Counterlife reinvents the novel with style, wit and grace.

  • Published: 8 June 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446401194
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

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 Counterlife

Roth is a comic genius... In this book (wonderfully sharp, worryingly intense) he is an electrifier

Martin Amis, Atlantic

No other writer combines such a surface of colloquial relaxation and even dishevelment with such a dense load of mediating intelligence... Roth has never written more scrupulously or, in spots, more lovingly

John Updike, New Yorker

Magnificent...splendid... I hope The Counterlife felt, as Mr. Roth wrote it, like a triumph, because that is certainly how it reads to me

William Gass, New York Times Book Review

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