Patrimony: A True Story
by Philip Roth
The author examines the life and experiences of his father as the latter comes to terms with a diagnosed brain tumour. Full of love and dread, Roth ... Show synopsis The author examines the life and experiences of his father as the latter comes to terms with a diagnosed brain tumour. Full of love and dread, Roth accompanies his father through each fearful stage of his final ordeal, marvelling at his long, stubborn engagement with life. In Patrimony, Roth's father is surrounded by a gang of vivid Jewish elders: Lil, Herman's last and much maligned love; his room-mate Bill who can hear the Marine Band he used to play with in World War I being played inside his teeth; the Auschwitz memoirist Walter with his surprising manuscript...and always at the centre of it all, Herman, defiant, enraged, desolated, at the end of his life still striving to prevail. Patrimony is dominated by Herman's tough integrity, but is also an intensely painful story, as Roth has to decide whether or not to have the tumour operated on, and whether or not to terminate his father's life.