A fiction-within-a-fiction, a labyrinthine edifice of funny, mournful, and harrowing meditations on the fatal impasse between a man and a woman, My Life as a Man is Roths most blistering novel. At its heart lies the marriage of Peter and Maureen Tarnopol, a gifted young writer and the woman who wants to be his muse but who instead is his nemesis. Their union is based on fraud and shored up by moral blackmail, but it is so perversely durable that, long after Maureens death, Peter is still tryingand failingto write his way free of it.
Out of desperate inventions and cauterizing truths, acts of weakness, tenderheartedness, and shocking cruelty, Philip Roth creates a work worthy of Strindberga fierce tragedy of sexual need and blindness. The spirited story of a young writers attempt to free himself from a woman who wont let go.