Roth and Trauma

By | July 6, 2011

In contrast to literary criticism of Philip Roth’s more recent fiction, which has focused on Post World War II America, Aimee  Pozorski sheds a very different light on Roth’s later novels in her new book Roth and Trauma: The Problem of History in the Later Works (1995-2010). She argues that Roth’s recent work highlights Americans’ struggle with their history, and particularly the legacy of the American Revolution. Pozorski, who is the current President of the Philip Roth Society, argues that Roth sees the creation of American democracy as a traumatic  event whose effects are still being felt today by America and the rest of the world.  

"In a superb reappraisal of Philip Roth’s later works, Aimee Pozorski argues in Roth and Trauma that, since 1995, the novels have conveyed a deeply historical view of the United States. Roth and Trauma sweeps away narrow readings focused on Roth as a Jew, as a self-contemplating postmodernist, and as an American preoccupied solely with the anxieties of the late twentieth century.  […] This passionate book will fundamentally change the way general readers and scholars think about Roth as an American writer."—Debra Shostak, Professor of English, The College of Wooster, USA

“With an engaging combination of personal warmth and scholarly comprehensiveness, as well as an ear attuned to the poetics of prose, Aimee Pozorski expands the horizons of critical discourse by reading the masterpieces of Philip Roth’s late period as excavations of ‘the darker secrets of American identity.’”—Peter L. Rudnytsky, Professor of English, University of Florida

"With her book Roth and Trauma, Aimee Pozorski raises the bar of Philip Roth studies.  With detailed, penetrating, and vigorous readings of Roth’s late fictions, she finds him to be a writer of broad sympathy, conceptual subtlety, and historical depth, whose instincts for American history are founded on extensive research. Her book is as insistent, passionate, and political as the Roth novels she rereads for us. Roth and Trauma is as graciously written as it is powerfully conceived.  It will be read, and it will make a difference." —Mark Shechner, Professor of English, University at Buffalo, State University of New York   

"In this original and engaging book, Aimee Pozorski opens up a fruitful new approach to Philip Roth’s recent novels. […] Written in accessible and passionate prose, Pozorski’s book will be of interest not only to admirers of Roth but also to students and scholars of trauma studies and contemporary literature." —Michael Rothberg, Professor of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Roth and Trauma publishes on July 14th  in North, Central and South America  and in the rest of the world on 15th September.

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