Philip Roth: Goodbye, Columbus

(2000 words)

With the publication of Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories in May 1959, twenty-six-year-old Philip Roth put himself on the literary map as an important writer of great social insight, a designation he has enlarged upon for more than five decades. Roth’s first major work gained admiring reviews from leading critics and won the National Book Award in 1960. The short novel Goodbye, Columbus, which describes the failed attempt of Neil Klugman, a product of the Jewish working class of urban Newark, to enter the world of newly wealthy suburban Jews and win the “king’s daughter” Brenda Patimkin, has become an American classic.

On one level, Neil’s pursuit of Brenda—a beautiful and a…

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Chura, Patrick . "Goodbye, Columbus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 November 2008; last revised 02 August 2010.
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]

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  1. Jewish American Writing