The Source: PATRIMONY by Philip Roth

The Source: PATRIMONY by Philip Roth

PATRIMONY by Philip Roth

Simon & Schuster

238 pages; $19.95

The book on Philip Roth is that he keeps writing the same book. Not quite so. What he writes about may seem constricted, but how he writes is risky and liberating.

Patrimony is an account of how Roth cared for his 86-year-old father during the last stages of the parent's incurable brain tumor. The trick of it is that there are no tricks, just a masterly demonstration of narrative control and emotional clarity.

There are laughs where only Roth can find them: a nutty Auschwitz survivor hustling his pornographic Holocaust novel....

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