It is 1951 in America, the second year of the Korean War. A studious, law-abiding, intense youngster from Newark, New Jersey, Marcus Messner is beginning his sophomore year on the pastoral, conservative campus of Ohio's Winesburg College. And why is he here and not at a local college in Newark where he originally enrolled? Because his father, the sturdy, hardworking neighbourhood butcher seems to have gone mad - mad with fear and apprehension of the dangers of adult life, the dangers of the world, the dangers he sees in the every corner for his beloved boy. So Marcus leaves and, far from home, has to find his way amid the customs and constrictions of another American world.
Indignation is the story of a young man's education in life's terrifying chances and bizarre obstructions. It is a story of inexperience, foolishness, intellectual resistance, sexual discovery, courage and error, told with all the inventive energy and with Roth has at his command.
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Intricately wrought, passionate and fascinating... A late masterpiece - Financial Times
Roth reasserts his fictional mastery with a fine taut narrative about the frustrations of youth...every part of it is dovetailed into a story of compelling economy...a mid-20th-century tale of nemesis with all the intellectual and imaginative force of a great novelist writing at the height of his powers - Sunday Times
A gratifying novel... Indignation is, unquestionably, seriously 'good' Roth - The Times
I relished Indignation. Roth writes with his trademark drive and fluency, on the knife blade between rage and laughter - Guardian
Roth's novels abound in comic moments, and so does Indignation...His powerful new novel seethes with outrage...a deft, gripping, and deeply moving narrative - New York Review of Books
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, previously awarded to John Dos Passos, William Faulkner and Saul Bellow, among others. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians' Prize for 'the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004.'
Recently Roth received PEN's two most prestigious prizes: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award 'for a body of work...of enduring originality and consummate craftmanship' and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American Fiction, given to a writer whose 'scale of achievement over a sustained career...places him or her in the highest rank of American literature.'
Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. The last of the eight volumes is scheduled for publication in 2013.