At forty, the writer Nathan 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, whose work was his life, is unable to write a line. Now his work is trekking from one doctor to another, but none can find a cause for the pain and nobody can assuage it. Zuckerman himself wonders if the pain can have been caused by his own books. And while he is wondering, his dependence on painkillers grows into an addiction to vodka, marijuana, and Percodan.
The Anatomy Lesson is a great comedy of illness written in what the English critic Hermione Lee has described as "a manner at once...brash and thoughtful... lyrical and wry, which projects through comic expostulations and confessions...a knowing, humane authority." The third volume of the trilogy and epilogue "Zuckerman Bound," The Anatomy Lesson provides some of the funniest scenes in all of Roth's fiction as well as some of the fiercest.
About the Author
Philip Roth is one of the most decorated writers in American history, having won the National Book Critics Circle Award twice, the PEN/Faulkner Award three times, the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, and many more. He also won the Ambassador Book Award of the English-Speaking Union and in the same year 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."
"The Anatomy Lesson is a ferocious, heartfelt book...lavish with laughs and flamboyant inventions." —John Updike, The New Yorker
"Roth has a genius for the comedy of entrapment.... [He] writes America's most raucously funny novels." —Time
"One of Roth's most unsparing and revealing books...forceful and startling." —Newsday