December 2, 2014

Dec 2

American Pastoral

Philip Roth


Bid Online Share: 

SOLD: $80,000

First edition, signed on the title page and extensively annotated across five pages of front matter (flyleaf, half-title, title-page and dedication page). Some 200 words in Roth’s hand, in which he offers extensive commentary on this powerful novel about the Sixties, in which the protagonist, Seymour “Swede” Levov, has his world shattered when his daughter becomes a radical and terrorist. “The daughter & the decade,” Roth writes in his notes, “blasting to smithereens his particular form of utopian thinking…His whole world in flames. Rita Cohen was for me the embodiment of the forces of the nemesis of the American middle class.” Echoing the title of a later work, Roth sees American Pastoral as an exploration of “the blight on the dream of perfection. The indelible imperfection. The human stain.”

ROTH, Philip. American Pastoral. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. 8°. Original cloth-backed boards; dust jacket.



© Nancy Crampton

Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral in 1997. He received the National Medal of Arts at the White House in 1998, and in 2002 he was given the Gold Medal in Fiction, the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has twice won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the W.H. Smith Literary Award for Best Book of the Year.

In 2005, Roth became the third living writer to have his works published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. In 2011, he received the National Humanities Medal at the White House, and he was later named the fourth recipient of the Man Booker International Prize. In 2012, he won Spain’s highest honor, the Prince of Asturias Award, and in 2013 he received France’s highest honor, Commander of the Legion of Honor.