Letting Go

Letting Go

Paperback

By (author) Philip Roth

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 640 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 42mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 4 October 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099485036
  • ISBN 13: 9780099485032
  • Sales rank: 318,302

Product description

Letting Go is Philip Roth's first full-length novel, published when he was twenty-nine. Set in 1950s, Chicago, New York, and Iowa City, Letting Go presents as brilliant a fictional portrait as we have of a mid-century America defined by social and ethical constraints and by moral compulsions conspicuously different from those of today. Newly discharged from the Korean War army, reeling from his mother's recent death, freed from old attachments and hungrily seeking others, Gabe Wallach is drawn to Paul Herz, a fellow graduate student in literature, and to Libby, Paul's moody, intense wife. Gabe's desire to be connected to the ordered 'world of feeling' that he finds in books is first tested vicariously by the anarchy of the Herzes' struggles with responsible adulthood and then by his own eager love affairs. Driven by the desire to live seriously and act generously, Gabe meets an impassable test in the person of Martha Reganhart, a spirited, outspoken, divorced mother of two, a formidable woman whom according to critic James Atlas, is masterly portrayed with 'depth and resonance'. The complex liaison between Gabe and Martha and Gabe's moral enthusiasm for the trials of others are at the heart of this ambitious first novel.

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Author information

In the 1990s Philip Roth won America's four major literary awards in succession: the National Book Critics Circle Award for Patrimony (1991), the PEN/Faulkner Award for Operation Shylock (1993), the National Book Award for Sabbath's Theater (1995), and the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for American Pastoral (1997). He won the Ambassador Book Award of the English-Speaking Union for I Married a Communist (1998); in the same year he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House. Previously he won the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Counterlife (1986) and the National Book Award for his first book, Goodbye, Columbus (1959). In 2000 he published The Human Stain, concluding a trilogy that depicts the ideological ethos of postwar America. For The Human Stain Roth received his second PEN/Faulkner Award as well as Britain's W. H. Smith Award for the Best Book of the Year. In 2001 he received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in fiction, given every six years 'for the entire work of the recipient'.

Review quote

"A first novel of awesome maturity" James Atlas "One of the country's finest, most forcefully intelligent and serious contemporary writers" New York Times "A rich book, full of incident, wry and sad and even in its most desolating scene somehow amusing" Harper's "[Roth] has the finest eye for the details of American life since Sinclair Lewis" Stanley Edgar Hyman "There's no doubting how good a writer Roth is" Guardian