Cover image for Patrimony : a true story
Title:
Patrimony : a true story
Author:
Roth, Philip.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon and Schuster, [1991]

©1991
Physical Description:
238 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
Genre:
ISBN:
9780671703752
Format :
Book

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PS3568.O855 Z468 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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Summary

Summary

Patrimony, a true story, touches the emotions as strongly as anything Philip Roth has ever written. Roth watches as his eighty-six-year-old father--famous for his vigor, charm, and his repertoire of Newark recollections--battles with the brain tumor that will kill him. The son, full of love, anxiety, and dread, accompanies his father through each fearful stage of his final ordeal, and, as he does so, discloses the survivalist tenacity that has distinguished his father's long, stubborn engagement with life.


Author Notes

Philip Milton Roth was born in Newark, New Jersey on March 19, 1933. He attended Rutgers University for one year before transferring to Bucknell University where he completed a B.A. in English with highest honors in 1954. He received an M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1955.

His first book, Goodbye, Columbus, received the National Book Award in 1960. His other books include Letting Go, When She Was Good, Portnoy's Complaint, My Life as a Man, The Ghostwriter, Zuckerman Unbound, I Married a Communist, The Plot Against America, The Facts, The Anatomy Lesson, Exit Ghost, Deception, Nemesis, Everyman, Indignation, and The Humbling. He won the National Book Critic Circle Awards in 1987 for his novel The Counterlife and in 1992 for his memoir Patrimony: A True Story. He won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 1993 for Operation Shylock: A Confession and in 2001 for The Human Stain, the National Book Award in 1995 for Sabbath's Theater, and the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for American Pastoral. He stopped writing in 2010. He died from congestive heart failure on May 22, 2018 at the age of 85.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Alter ego Nathan Zuckerman doesn't appear in these pages, and neither is there any sleight of hand blurring the line between literature and life. Instead, here is Roth (NBCC Award-winning The Counterlife ) at his most humane as he pens a kaddish to his recently deceased father, Herman. A vigorous 86-year-old, Roth pere wakes up one morning and half his face is paralyzed; soon he is deaf in one ear and the verdict is a benign brain tumor. Surgery is ruled out for the octogenarian, and the author is a helpless, horrified witness to his father's humiliating demise, ``utterly isolated within a body that had become a terrifying escape-proof enclosure, the holding pen in a slaughterhouse.'' In a fast-paced, cogent memoir, Roth, whose filial devotion and awe are tempered with clear-eyed observational powers, ranges far afield and discusses the anti-Semitism of the insurance firm that employed Herman Roth for 40 years; Herman's perfectionism and his latter-day disregard for his wife whom he nevertheless elevated to quasi-sainthood after death; Herman's abandonment of his phylacteries in a locker at the local YMHA; the author's quintuple bypass surgery weeks before his father's death; and Herman's incontinence and the ample size of his genitals. BOMC alternate. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Roth renders his 86-year-old father's final illness in clinical detail muted with compassion and humor. He examines his role as a son faced with unspeakably difficult choices who ultimately becomes aware of the importance of memory and connectedness to one's forebears even (or especially) in such a wrenching situation. He does not idealize the patriarchal figure, but rather comes to accept him as a flawed and genuine person. In discussing spiritual aspects in light of corporeal limitations, Roth enters scarcely charted waters such as the sexuality and day-to-day needs of the elderly. His skill as a novelist comes forth in the dialog and description. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-- Janice Braun, Medical Historical Lib., Yale Univ. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.