Patrimony by Philip Roth
A True Story

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Patrimony, a true story, touches the emotions as strongly as anything Philip Roth has ever written. Roth watches as his eight-six-year-old father—famous for his vigor, his 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.

Philip Roth is hailed by many as the reigning king of American fiction. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, this memoir about love, survival and memory is one of his most intimate books, but also one of his most intellectually vigorous. Patrimony is Roth’s elegy to his father, written with piercing observation and wit at the height of his literary prowess.


About Philip Roth

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Philip Roth was born in New Jersey in 1933.  He studied literature at Bucknell University and the University of Chicago.  His first book, Goodbye, Columbus, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1960.  He has lived in Rome, London, Chicago, New York City, Princeton, and New England.  Since 1955, he has been on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where is now Adjunct Professor of English.  He is also General Editor of the Penguin Books series "Writers from the Other Europe."  Recently he has been spending half of each year in Europe, traveling and writing.
Published December 26, 2012 by Odyssey Editions. 242 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The only respites from this harrowing procession of bodily disasters--including diminished eyesight and incontinence--are flashbacks that provide fascinating glimpses into American Jewish life in the first half of this century--as well as into Roth père, a blunt perfectionist who sometimes drove...

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The New York Times

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Philip Roth's subtitle, "A True Story," is un ironically accurate;

Jan 06 1991 | Read Full Review of Patrimony : A True Story

Entertainment Weekly

Roth has set himself the task of recovering his father's essential dignity from the indignities inflicted by the illness, and he succeeds because the rude virtue he attributes to Herman Roth is also the virtue of the book: a ''pitilessly realistic determination.'' The phrase comes up ...

Jan 18 1991 | Read Full Review of Patrimony : A True Story


'Good,' my father tells him—'now don't go out and spend it on crap.' " But, as Roth makes clear in this marvelous book, Herman was also a faithful, loving husband and proud father who gave his writer son the most valuable gift: "He taught me the vernacular.

Feb 25 1991 | Read Full Review of Patrimony : A True Story

London Review of Books

‘Fate,’ Roth writes towards the end of Patrimony, ‘had given me a fiercely loyal and devoted father who had never found a thing in my books to criticise.’ As the story of his father’s death, Patrimony is the first of Roth’s books that his father would never read.

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