The early 2000s saw the publication of a number of books that portrayed the art of reading as a how-to guide for leading a better life. Most of these books took a panoramic approach, focusing either on the lessons gleaned from devouring the entire oeuvre of a prolific artist, such as Proust, or, even more generally, the romance of a life lived in and through reading. The second decade of the twenty-first century, however, belongs to portraits of reading in miniature. Rebecca Mead’s My Life in Middlemarch (2014) focuses on George Eliot’s novel as a microcosm for her own experiences coming of age in England, while Samantha Ellis offers a retrospective glance at her own (literary) heroine worship in How to Be a Heroine (2015). Bernard Avishai’s Promiscuous: Portnoy’s Complaint and Our Doomed Pursuit of Happiness joins this illustrious company, using Roth’s profane, rollicking late-’60s novel as a springboard for...
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Book Review| March 01 2017
Promiscuous: Portnoy’s Complaint and Our Doomed Pursuit of Happiness
Promiscuous: Portnoy’s Complaint and Our Doomed Pursuit of HappinessAvishai, Bernard
New Haven, CT:
Yale University Press,
Studies in American Jewish Literature (1981-) (2017) 36 (1): 107–110.
Jennifer Glaser; Promiscuous: Portnoy’s Complaint and Our Doomed Pursuit of Happiness. Studies in American Jewish Literature (1981-) 1 March 2017; 36 (1): 107–110. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/studamerjewilite.36.1.0107
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