Philip Roth's award-winning first book instantly established its author's reputation as a writer of explosive wit, merciless insight, and a fierce compassion for even the most self-deluding of his characters.
Goodbye, Columbus is the story of Neil Klugman and pretty, spirited Brenda Patimkin, he of poor Newark, she of suburban Short Hills, who meet one summer break and dive into an affair that is as much about social class and suspicion as it is about love. The story went on to be made into a major motion picture. The novella is accompanied by five short stories that range in tone from the iconoclastic to the astonishingly tender and that illuminate the subterranean conflicts between parents and children and friends and neighbors in the American Jewish diaspora.
The book was a critical success for Roth, though it was not without controversy, as people within the Jewish community took issue with Roth's less than flattering portrayal of some characters. When Roth appeared on a panel alongside the distinguished black novelist Ralph Ellison in 1962 to discuss minority representation in literature, the questions directed at him became denunciations. Many accused Roth of being a self-hating Jew, a label that stuck with him for years.
Philip Roth is one of the most awarded and celebrated authors of all time, living or dead, American or non, Jewish or goy. He went on to win the National Book Critics Award twice, the Pulitzer Prize, The PEN/Faulkner Award three times, the Man Booker International Prize, the National Book Award once more.
The second time he won the National Book Award was for Sabbath's Theater, a book that most members of this group did not enjoy! I feel Roth deserves a second chance, however, and how better to do it than by reading about star-crossed lovers in February. Members can chose to read just the title novella, which is 130 pages, or they can also read the short stories. The length of the entire book is under 300 pages.
I do not charge a fee for this book club to cover organizer fees--something many groups do. However, there is the option of donating $2 to $5 at each meet-up you attend. This money is then donated to an organization like the Sierra Club, the Environmental Protection Agency, or the National Resources Defense Council in the group's name. It's a small positive action this group can make. These small actions can add up. This is entirely voluntary and not at all required. Just coming and bringing yourself, a tasty dish to share, and good conversation will always be enough, but if you want to donate please feel free to do so.
Additional notes: There is the option of donating $2 to $5 at each meet-up you attend. This money is then donated to an organization like the Sierra Club in the group's name. This is entirely voluntary and not at all required.
Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.