Philip Roth Exit Ghost

ISBN 13: 9780099516088

Exit Ghost

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9780099516088: Exit Ghost

Returning to his hometown to find that all has changed, Nathan Zuckerman - incontinent and impotent - comes back to New York, the city he left eleven years before. Walking the streets he quickly makes several connections that explode his carefully protected solitude. In a rash moment, he offers to swap homes with a young couple. And from the moment he meets them, Zuckerman wants to exchange his solitude for the erotic allure of the young woman Jamie, who draws him back to all that he thought he had left behind: intimacy, and the play of heart and body. Suddenly involved, as he never wanted or intended to be involved again, with love, mourning, desire and animosity, Zuckerman plays out an interior drama of vivid and poignant possibilities.

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Review:

The last ordeal of Nathan Zuckerman, the indomitable literary adventurer of Roth's nine Zuckerman books, like Rip Van Winkle returning to his hometown to find that all has changed, Nathan Zuckerman comes back to New York, the city he left eleven years before. Alone on his New England mountain, Zuckerman has been nothing but a writer: no voices, no media, no terrorist threats, no women, no news, no tasks other than his work and the enduring of old age.

Walking the streets like a revenant, he quickly makes three connections that explode his carefully protected solitude. One is with a young couple with whom, in a rash moment, he offers to swap homes. They will flee post-9/11 Manhattan for his country refuge, and he will return to city life. But from the time he meets them, Zuckerman also wants to swap his solitude for the erotic challenge of the young woman, Jamie, whose allure draws him back to all that he thought he had left behind: intimacy, the vibrant play of heart and body.

The second connection is with a figure from Zuckerman's youth, Amy Bellette, companion and muse to Zuckerman's first literary hero, E. I. Lonoff. The once irresistible Amy is now an old woman depleted by illness, guarding the memory of that grandly austere American writer who showed Nathan the solitary path to a writing vocation.

The third connection is with Lonoff's would-be biographer, a young literary hound who will do and say nearly anything to get to Lonoff's "great secret." Suddenly involved, as he never wanted or intended to be involved again, with love, mourning, desire, and animosity, Zuckerman plays out an interior drama of vivid and poignant possibilities.

Haunted by Roth's earlier work The Ghost Writer, Exit Ghost is an amazing leap into yet another phase in this great writer's insatiable commitment to fiction.

Exit Zuckerman: Talking with Philip Roth

When we talked with Philip Roth for the Amazon Wire podcast, we asked him about his long relationship with his fictional surrogate, Nathan Zuckerman, his decision to bring Zuckerman back (and say goodbye to him) in Exit Ghost, and the difficulties of aging for novelists, and we managed to touch on George Plimpton, Annie Dillard, Grace Paley, and The Tempest, along with nearly all of the nine Zuckerman books. You can listen to interview in the podcast above, or read the full transcript.

Zuckerman Returns to Manhattan: Philip Roth Reads from Exit Ghost

When Nathan Zuckerman returns to Manhattan from his self-imposed rural retreat for the first time in 11 years in Exit Ghost, what does he find? Along with his surprising and unsettling encounters with an aged and ill woman who had once been a young mystery to him, an aggressive biographer who won't take no for an answer, and an alluring young writer who tempts him back into the adventure of seduction, he is confronted with a city whose streets are filled with people behaving quite differently than a decade before. "For one who frequently went without talking to anyone for days at a time," he thinks. "I had to wonder what that had previously held them up had collapsed in people to make incessant talking into a telephone preferable to walking about under no one's surveillance, momentarily solitary, assimilating the street through one's animal senses and thinking the myriad thoughts that the activities of a city inspire." Listen to Philip Roth read an excerpt from Exit Ghost.

Looking Back on Zuckerman

The Ghost Writer: Introduces Nathan Zuckerman in the 1950s, a budding writer who spends a night in the secluded New England farmhouse of his idol, E. I. Lonoff, and meets a haunting young woman whom he imagines could be the paradigmatic victim of Nazi persecution.
Zuckerman Unbound: Zuckerman, with newfound fame as a bestselling author, ventures onto the streets of Manhattan in the final year of the turbulent '60s, where he is assumed by fans and enemies to be his own fictional satyr, Gilbert Carnovsky ("Hey, you do all that stuff in that book?").
The Anatomy Lesson: At 40, Zuckerman comes down with a mysterious affliction--pure pain, beginning in his neck and shoulders, invading his torso, and taking possession of his spirit. Zuckerman is unable to write a line, but the novel provides some of the funniest and fiercest scenes in all of Roth's fiction.
The Prague Orgy: In quest of the unpublished manuscript of a martyred Yiddish writer, Zuckerman travels to Soviet-occupied Prague in the mid-1970s, where he discovers, among the oppressed writers with whom he quickly becomes embroiled, an appealingly perverse kind of heroism.
Zuckerman Bound: The latest in the Library of America's collected Roth works brings together his first Zuckerman trilogy, The Ghost Writer, Zuckerman Unbound, and The Anatomy Lesson, along with the epilogue, The Prague Orgy.
The Counterlife: From New Jersey to England to the West Bank, the characters in The Counterlife, illuminated by the skeptical, enveloping intelligence of Nathan Zuckerman, are tempted unceasingly by the prospect of an alternative existence that can reverse their fate.
American Pastoral: Swede Levov, legendary high-school athlete and boyhood idol of Nathan Zuckerman, is wrenched overnight out of the American pastoral and into the indigenous American berserk when his teenage daughter proves capable of an outlandishly savage act of political terrorism.
I Married a Communist: The rise and fall of Ira Ringold, a big American roughneck who becomes a big-time 1940s radio star, takes the young Zuckerman under his wing, and is destroyed, as both a performer and a man, in the McCarthy witchhunt of the 1950s.
The Human Stain: Coleman Silk, an aging classics professor forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist, has a secret, kept for 50 years from all around him, including his friend Nathan Zuckerman, who sets out to understand how this ingeniously contrived life came unraveled.

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, previously awarded to John Dos Passos, William Faulkner and Saul Bellow, among others. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has 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'. Recently Roth received PEN's two most prestigious prizes: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award `for a body of work . . . of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship' and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, given to a writer whose `scale of achievement over a sustained career . . . places him or her in the highest rank of American literature'. In 2011 Roth won the International Man Booker Prize. Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America.

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Like Rip Van Winkle returning to his hometown to find that all has changed, Nathan Zuckerman comes back to New York, the city he left eleven years before. Walking the streets like a revenant, he quickly makes three connections that explode his carefully protected solitude. One is with a young couple with whom, in a rash moment, he offers to swap homes. From the moment he meets them, Zuckerman also wants to swap his solitude for the erotic challenge of the young woman, Jaime, whose allure draws him back to all that he thought he had left behind: intimacy, the vibrant play of heart and body. The second connection is with a figure from Zuckerman s youth, Amy Bellette, companion and muse to Zuckerman s first literary hero, E.I. Lonoff. The once irresistible Amy is now an old woman depleted by illness, guarding the memory of that grandly austere American writer who showed Nathan the solitary path to a writing vocation. The third connection is with Lonoff s would-be biographer, a young literary hound who will do and say nearly anything to get to Lonoff s great secret . Suddenly involved, as he never wanted or intended to be involved again, with love, mourning, desire, and animosity, Zuckerman plays out an interior drama of vivid and poignant possibilities. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099516088

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Returning to his hometown to find that all has changed, Nathan Zuckerman - incontinent and impotent - comes back to New York, the city he left eleven years before. Walking the streets he quickly makes several connections that explode his carefully protected solitude. In a rash moment, he offers to swap homes with a young couple. And from the moment he meets them, Zuckerman wants to exchange his solitude for the erotic allure of the young woman Jamie, who draws him back to all that he thought he had left behind: intimacy, and the play of heart and body. Suddenly involved, as he never wanted or intended to be involved again, with love, mourning, desire and animosity, Zuckerman plays out an interior drama of vivid and poignant possibilities. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099516088

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