Bowdoin Reads

Amy Helbig is reading...

Goodbye, Columbus
by Philip Roth

Published in 1959, Goodbye, Columbus won the 1960 National Book Award and began the career of Philip Roth, one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Goodbye, Columbus is a collection of six short stories, each of which concentrates on an unusual, although not unfamiliar, scenario surrounding the Jewish-American experience. Its characters deal with crises particularly focused on the defining and questioning of identity from the perspective of both group member and outsider. Themes throughout the stories weave together elegantly and are strengthened by the poignant character voices Roth continuously creates. Though the stories are definitively Jewish, the questions that Roth raises about cultural identity and assimilation are relevant across the American experience, even half a century later. The six stories in Goodbye, Columbus provide the perfect introduction to Roth’s body of work, and will engage you thoroughly throughout your reading.

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