Justin Cartwright

America’s Delusion

I Married A Communist


Jonathan Cape 400pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

In his superb American Pastoral, Philip Roth displayed signs of wanting to examine his kind of people in greater philosophic depth: Swede Lermontov, a Newark Jew who has moved to the mink-and-manure belt, finds that his attempts to become an American, freed from his immigrant antecedents and his religion, are tragically foiled. The agent of this failure is his revolutionary daughter Merry, who explodes a bomb that kills an inoffensive local. Roth, in all his overlapping identities and guises, concludes that the America of his generation is an unforgiving place for the immigrant, specifically the Newark Jew with ideas.

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