Operation Shylock: A Confession

Odyssey Editions
10
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What if a lookalike stranger stole your name, usurped your biography and went around the world pretending to be you? In this tour de force of fact and fiction, Philip Roth meets a man who may or may not be Philip Roth. Because someone with that name has been touring the State of Israel, promoting a bizarre exodus in reverse of the Jews. Roth decides to stop him—even if that means impersonating his impersonator. Suspenseful, hilarious, hugely impassioned, pulsing with intelligence and narrative energy, Operation Shylock is at once a spy story, a political thriller, a meditation on identity, and a confession.

Like Pushkin and Dostoevsky before him, Philip Roth takes on the subject of the writer’s double, which for Roth is inevitably bound up in Jewishness and identity. This is a bold, inventive and energetic departure from his past novels, a meta-novel, and, like all of his writing, full of ideas, wit, humor and startling observation.

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More by Philip Roth

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It is 1998, the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town, an aging classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist. The charge is a lie, but the real truth about Silk would have astonished his most virulent accuser. Coleman Silk has a secret. But it's not the secret of his affair, at seventy-one, with Faunia Farley, a woman half his age with a savagely wrecked past--a part-time farmhand and a janitor at the college where, until recently, he was the powerful dean of faculty. And it's not the secret of Coleman's alleged racism, which provoked the college witch-hunt that cost him his job and, to his mind, killed his wife. Nor is it the secret of misogyny, despite the best efforts of his ambitious young colleague, Professor Delphine Roux, to expose him as a fiend. Coleman's secret has been kept for fifty years: from his wife, his four children, his colleagues, and his friends, including the writer Nathan Zuckerman, who sets out to understand how this eminent, upright man, esteemed as an educator for nearly all his life, had fabricated his identity and how that cannily controlled life came unraveled. Set in 1990s America, where conflicting moralities and ideological divisions are made manifest through public denunciation and rituals of purification, The Human Stain concludes Philip Roth's eloquent trilogy of postwar American lives that are as tragically determined by the nation's fate as by the "human stain" that so ineradicably marks human nature. This harrowing, deeply compassionate, and completely absorbing novel is a magnificent successor to his Vietnam-era novel, American Pastoral, and his McCarthy-era novel, I Married a Communist.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Odyssey Editions
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Published on
Dec 26, 2012
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781623730055
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
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Content protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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