Philip Roth

(2519 words)
  • Ranen Omer-Sherman

On the last page of Philip Roth's memoir Patrimony (1991), he tells of a terrifying dream that came in the weeks following the burial of his father, an assimilated secular Jew who had never exhibited any particular inclination toward faith. Responding to the mortician's request that he choose a suit for the burial, he inexplicably acted on a pious impulse to bury his father in an old prayer shawl. In the dream, Herman Roth appeared to bitterly condemn his son's choice:

One night some six weeks later, at around 4:00 A.M., he came in a hooded white shroud to reproach me. He said, “I should have been dressed in a suit. You did the wrong thing.” I awakened screaming. All that peered out from the shroud was the …
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Omer-Sherman, Ranen. "Philip Roth". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 August 2004
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]

Articles on Roth's works

  1. “Defender of the Faith”
  2. American Pastoral
  3. Goodbye, Columbus
  4. I Married a Communist
  5. Portnoy's Complaint
  6. The Counterlife
  7. The Human Stain
  8. The Plot Against America
  9. Zuckerman Unbound

Related Groups

  1. Jewish American Writing