The University of Wisconsin Press



American Mischief
Alan Lelchuk
With a new afterword

Terrace Books

“No novelist has written with such knowledge and eloquence of the consequences of carnal passion in Massachusetts since The Scarlet Letter.
—Philip Roth, Esquire

By turns hilarious and alarming, American Mischief is an ambitious attempt to define the disorders of American culture. Originally published in 1970, the novel takes on sexual anarchy, political madness, the collapse of monogamy, and above all the high cost of extreme behavior. These aspects of American culture are richly illustrated by the novel’s two protagonists: Professor Bernard Kovell, a supreme and comical narcissist who dotes on lofty analogies while performing very low acts, and Lenny Pincus, a young radical fishing for more trouble than he can handle.

American Mischief should be read as a companion piece to, if not the equal of, Mr. Sammler’s Planet. It is a map, charted with intelligence, lit by vitality, of America’s ailments.”
—Mordecai Richler, Chicago Tribune

Alan Lelchuk was born and raised in Brooklyn. He is author of the novels Brooklyn Boy, recently reprinted by the University of Wisconsin Press, On Home Ground, Shrinking, Miriam at Thirty-four, Miriam in Her Forties, and Playing the Game. He is on the faculty of Dartmouth College and is cofounder of Steerforth Press. His newest book is Ziff: A Life?

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cover of American Mischief is illustrated with what seems like a burning bush

October 2004
LC: 2003045834
520 pp. 6 x 9

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