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American Pastoral Return to Timeline
American Pastoral
Some American authors are known for the regions they portray. Mark Twain, Eudora Welty, and William Faulkner are the keepers, as it were, of the literary South. William Kennedy pens novels about Albany, New York. And Philip Roth comfortably and convincingly places his characters in New Jersey (he grew up in Newark). Roth is also noted for stories that capture the cultural landscape of America. AMERICAN PASTORAL is one such novel.

Seymour (Swede) Levov is the man who seems to have it all: a home, a family, and a career. He is living the American dream. In reality, however, all is not well. Through acts of violence both personally horrifying and violently illegal, his daughter has ruined his life. He will never recapture the innocence and ordinariness of life as he once knew it. The novel forces the reader to consider the rise and fall of immigrant generations in America, the cultural and political volatility of the 1960s, and the ways the seemingly successful rise and fall from grace.

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The American Novel