Undying: A Novel
November 2004: George W. Bush is re-elected. Five days later, Alan Meister, a New York professor of philosophy, is diagnosed with lymphoma—not that he can prove the two are connected. While coping with the rigors of chemotherapy, Alan begins work on a long-postponed book titled The Health of a Sick Man, arguing that the core of Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical thought was a decades-long attempt to cope with his lifelong incapacities—his blinding headaches, upset stomach, weak vision, and all-around frailty, not least his vexed relations with women. As Alan’s treatment proceeds, he finds relief by imagining Nietzsche not as a historical figure, but as a character in his daily life, a reminder that his own heart continues to beat.
Rooted in the author’s personal experience with lymphoma, this novel is a compound of reminiscences, aphorisms, anecdotes, and encounters: with Alan’s errant daughter Natasha, who has returned home to help care for him; with mortal friends; with a mysterious hospital roommate; with students; with contemporary life as it reaches him through the newspapers and his readings. Steady, spare, and often bracingly funny, Undying cries out in a robust voice: I am.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
beer body breath Bush can’t cancer Carlos Ortiz CAT scan cells chemo chemotherapy child comes Court TV crazy curtain Danny daughter didn’t doesn’t everything exactly eyes father feel Friedrich Nietzsche Fritz Garry McGinnis Garry’s goes hair hand he’s head heart hospital human I’ve Ibn Rushd idea live look Lou Salomé lymphoma Mary Shelley mask Mathilde mean Melanie Melanie says mind mother Natasha says Neulasta never Nietzsche Nietzsche’s night numbers once pain parents Paul Rée philosopher Queensboro Bridge question R–CHOP Salomé scan Senger she’s sick side sleep Sloan-Kettering smile sound speak staring stay story street suffering Susan Sontag talk tell There’s thing thought told truth turn voice wait walk What’s who’s wife woman wonder words write you’re