When She Was Good

Paperback | January 31, 1995

byPhilip Roth

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In this funny and chilling novel, the setting is a small town in the 1940s Midwest, and the subject is the heart of a wounded and ferociously moralistic young woman, one of those implacable American moralists whose "goodness" is a terrible disease.

When she was still a child, Lucy Nelson had her alcoholic failure of a father thrown in jail. Ever since then she has been trying to reform the men around her, even if that ultimately means destroying herself in the process. With his unerring portraits of Lucy and her hapless, childlike husband, Roy, Roth has created an uncompromising work of fictional realism, a vision of provincial American piety, yearning, and discontent that is at once pitiless and compassionate.

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In this funny and chilling novel, the setting is a small town in the 1940s Midwest, and the subject is the heart of a wounded and ferociously moralistic young woman, one of those implacable American moralists whose "goodness" is a terrible disease. When she was still a child, Lucy Nelson had her alcoholic failure of a father thrown in ...

From the Jacket

In this funny and chilling novel, the setting is a small town in the 1940s Midwest, and the subject is the heart of a wounded and ferociously moralistic young woman, one of those implacable American moralists whose "goodness" is a terrible disease. When she was still a child, Lucy Nelson had her alcoholic failure of a father thrown in ...

In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.7 inPublished:January 31, 1995Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0679759255

ISBN - 13:9780679759256

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Editorial Reviews

"High, careful tragedy, nasty as life, and Roth emerges...as a Dreiser who can write!" —Stanley Elkin

"Roth is a living master." —Harold Bloom, The New York Review of Books