Cover image for Portnoy's complaint
Portnoy's complaint
Roth, Philip.
Personal Author:
1st Vintage International ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Vintage International, 1994.
Physical Description:
274 pages ; 21 cm
Philip Roth's bestselling novel, which takes the form of a monologue featuring the confession of a comic character who is thrust through life by his unappeasable sexuality, yet at the same time held back by the iron grip of his unforgettable childhood.
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"Vintage books."
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Hamburg Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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Portnoy's Complaint n. [after Alexander Portnoy (1933- )] A disorder in which strongly-felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature. Spielvogel says: 'Acts of exhibitionism, voyeurism, fetishism, auto-eroticism and oral coitus are plentiful; as a consequence of the patient's "morality," however, neither fantasy nor act issues in genuine sexual gratification, but rather in overriding feelings of shame and the dread of retribution, particularly in the form of castration.' (Spielvogel, O. "The Puzzled Penis," Internationale Zeitschrift f#65533;r Psychoanalyse , Vol. XXIV, p. 909.) It is believed by Spielvogel that many of the symptoms can be traced to the bonds obtaining in the mother-child relationship.

With a new Afterword by the author for the 25th Anniversary edition.

Author Notes

Philip Roth was born in Newark, New Jersey on March 19, 1933. He attended Rutgers University for one year before transferring to Bucknell University where he completed a B.A. in English with highest honors. He received an M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1955 and taught there briefly.

His first book, Goodbye, Columbus, received the National Book Award in 1960. His other books include Letting Go, When She Was Good, Portnoy's Complaint, Our Gang, My Life as a Man, The Ghostwriter, Zuckerman Unbound, The Anatomy Lesson, Deception, Nemesis, and Indignation. He won National Book Critic Circle Awards in 1987 for his novel The Counterlife and again in 1992 for his memoir Patrimony: A True Story. He won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 1993 for Operation Shylock: A Confession, the National Book Award in 1995 for Sabbath's Theater, and the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for American Pastoral.

(Bowker Author Biography) Philip Roth's work has been acclaimed around the world. His most recent novels are "The Human Stain", published by Houghton Mifflin in 2000; "I Married a Communist" (1999), winner of the Ambassador Award of the English-Speaking Union; "American Pastoral" (1997), winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction; & "Sabbath's Theater" (1995), winner of the National Book Award. Previous award-winning works include "Patrimony" (1991), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; "Operation Shylock" (1993), winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award; "The Counterlife" (1986), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; & "Goodbye, Columbus" (1959), his first book, winner of the National Book Award. In 1998 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.

(Publisher Provided)

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Publisher's Weekly Review

The 25th-anniversary edition of Roth's classic novel features a new afterword by the author. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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