June 2018 Book Club Selection – The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth

Be sure to grab a new copy of this month’s reading group selection: The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth. Come celebrate the life of this amazing author by discussing what many consider to be his greatest work – the 1979 novel The Ghost Writer.

The Book Beat reading group will meet Wednesday, June 27th 2018 @7:00PM at Goldfish Tea Cafe, located at 117 W. Fourth Street in Downtown Royal Oak. All are welcome.

Get 15% off on the Current Reading Group Selection.

The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth ——- paperback @ $14.95 (-15% off)

The Ghost Writer introduces Nathan Zuckerman in the 1950s, a budding writer infatuated with the Great Books, discovering the contradictory claims of literature and experience while an overnight guest in the secluded New England farmhouse of his idol, E. I. Lonoff. At Lonoff’s, Zuckerman meets Amy Bellette, a haunting young woman of indeterminate foreign background who turns out to be a former student of Lonoff’s and who may also have been his mistress. Zuckerman, with his active, youthful imagination, wonders if she could be the paradigmatic victim of Nazi persecution. If she were, it might change his life. The first volume of the trilogy and epilogue Zuckerman Bound, The Ghost Writer is about the tensions between literature and life, artistic truthfulness and conventional decency—and about those implacable practitioners who live with the consequences of sacrificing one for the other.

The Ghost Writer has been hailed as a modern classic and often considered to be Roth’s best book. Newsweek gave the book a raving review: “The Ghost Writer is Roth’s best novel yet…Master and disciple, young America confronting old Europe, ambiguous ancestry, art as dubious balm for the wounds of life — these were Henry James’ themes, and Roth has made them his own.”

“Nathan Zuckerman is an act. It’s all the art of impersonation, isn’t it? That’s the fundamental novelistic gift. Zuckerman is a writer who wants to be a doctor impersonating a pornographer. I am a writer writing a book impersonating a writer who wants to be a doctor impersonating a pornographer—who then, to compound the impersonation, to barb the edge, pretends he’s a well-known literary critic.” –Philip Roth from an interview in the Paris Review

About the Author Philip Roth (March 19, 1933 – May 22, 2018) was a novelist and short-story writer whose works were characterized by an acute ear for dialogue, a concern with Jewish middle-class life, and the painful entanglements of sexual and familial love. His first work was a short story collection Goodbye, Columbus (1959), whose title story candidly depicts the boorish materialism of a wealthy Jewish suburban family. Roth’s first novel, Letting Go (1962), was followed in 1967 by When She Was Good and in 1969 with Portnoy’s Complaint — an audacious satirical portrait of a contemporary Jewish male at odds with his domineering mother and obsessed with sexual experience. Several minor works, including My Life As a Man (1974), and The Professor of Desire (1977), were followed by one of Roth’s most important novels, The Ghost Writer (1979). In the 1990s Philip Roth won America’s four major literary awards in succession: the National Book Critics Circle Award for Patrimony (1991), the PEN/Faulkner Award for Operation Shylock (1993), the National Book Award for Sabbath’s Theater (1995), and the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for American Pastoral (1997). In 1998, he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House.  In 2001 he received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction, given every six years “for the entire work of the recipient.”

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