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  • Published: 6 September 1991
  • ISBN: 9780099889403
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $19.99

The Great American Novel




'Shameless comic extravagance... Roth gleefully exploits our readiness to let baseball stand for America itself' New York Times

Gill Gamesh, the only pitcher who ever literally tried to kill the umpire. The ex-con first baseman, John Baal, 'The Babe Ruth of the Big House', who never hit a home run sober. If you've never heard of them - or of the Ruppert Mundys, the only homeless big-league ball team in American history - it's because of the Communist plot, and the capitalist scandal, that expunged the entire Patriot League from baseball memory.

In this ribald, richly imagined, and wickedly satiric novel, Philip Roth turns baseball's status as national pastime and myth into an occasion for unfettered picaresque farce, replete with heroism and perfidy, ebullient wordplay and a cast of characters that includes the House Un-American Activities Committee.

  • Published: 6 September 1991
  • ISBN: 9780099889403
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • 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 Great American Novel

Roth is better than he's ever been before... The prose is electric

Atlantic

Roth invents baseball anew, as pure slapstick... An awesome performance

New Republic

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