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Abstract

In his article "Philip Roth, Henry Roth and the History of the Jews" Timothy Parrish argues that while Roth's status as a Jewish American writer has been a pressing issue since his career began and that while in recent scholarship Roth's achievement as a US-American writer is stressed, the durability of Roth's work depends more on its implied submission to a Jewish tradition. From "The Conversion of the Jews" (1959) to Nemesis (2010), his characters challenge endlessly the ethical and moral constructs of their Jewish community to acknowledge the fact that they exist inside of it. One might choose any of Roth's late works to explore this claim, but Exit Ghost (2007) is compelling in particular because it asks us to consider Roth's career in the context of the life and work of his critically overlooked predecessor and literary counter-ego, Henry Roth.