Patrimony: A True Story

Patrimony: A True Story

by Philip Roth


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679752936
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/16/1996
Series: Vintage International Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 140,905
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians’ Prize for “the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003–2004.” Roth received PEN’s two most prestigious awards: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. In 2011 he received the National Humanities Medal at the White House, and was later named the fourth recipient of the Man Booker International Prize. He died in 2018.



Date of Birth:

March 19, 1933

Place of Birth:

Newark, New Jersey


B.A. in English, Bucknell University, 1954; M.A. in English, University of Chicago, 1955

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Patrimony: A True Story 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read close to twenty of Roth's book, and this seems to me after Portnoy's Complaint and perhaps passages in American Pastoral to be his finest work. Somehow the games and cleverness , the brilliance of Roth seem less like an idle entertainment here and more like " the real mc- coy "His portrait of his eighty - six year old father , a ' live wire ' on all occasions brims with love and resentment , admiration and anger. His connection with his father also brings him into truer touch with himself .And there is a kind of poetic justice in the physical collapse which is his emotional response to his own father's dying. I somehow wish Roth had toward the end of the book struck a more reverential note, but apparently his soul is in mocking and defiance . Nonetheless and with it all I can think of few books which tell father - son relationships ( the incomparable Kafka's "Letter to my Father " is the first of them ) in such a deep and heart - rending way.
Anonymous 15 days ago
It is one of the most beautifully written books I have read in a long time. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
goose114 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Patrimony tells the story of Philip Roth¿s father¿s battle with a brain tumor. We are taken through the last few years of his life ¿ his struggle, his decline, and his ultimate death. Roth documents all the triumphs and struggles his father has with his declining health while showcasing his father¿s past. The relationship between Roth and his father is highlighted throughout the story which leads to some touching moments. Philip Roth writes beautifully and this book is no exception. However, I was not taken in by this story. There were times where I felt that Roth was showcasing his accomplishments and talents. At other times I did not understand the point of a specific narrative and its significance to the story of his father. Ultimately this book had some heartwarming and heart wrenching parts, but I would not say this is one of Roth¿s best works. Anyone dealing with an elderly parent may get more out of this book than I did.
idiotgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Audiobook. Very good book. Roth's story of his father's final years. Late 80s dying from a "benign" brain tumor. Also about making sense of one's parents, growing old as well. I finished this book on Tuesday night and woke Wednesday morning to the news of Ted Kennedy's death from a "malignant" brain tumor. Roth is such a good writer and this book is a labor of love. The final images of this book keep playing and replaying in my mind. Leaves me thinking about my own parents, about mortality, about a good end.
realbigcat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Philp Roth again shows why he is one the greatest living American writers. This is a touching tale of his father's life from the perspective of his final days after discovering a brain tuimor. Anyone who has dealt with the health issues of a declining parent will quickly relate to this book. Roth is touching and very human in his role as caregiver for his father. He pulls no punches in is struggle with medical decisions, care givers and his father's decline. His graphic depiction of his father's bathroom accident is something everyone can relate with but few would descibe with such detail. Overall this is an excellant story. There's no happy ending but their seldom is with the reality of death.
polutropos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is surprising that a novelist as entertaining as Philip Roth could write a memoir as dull as this. Not particularly illuminating about fathers and sons or anything else. Read some of the good novels; skip this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago