Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Nemesis" by Philip Roth, recalls the scourge of polio before the vaccine

Philip Roth has written a new novel, Nemesis, about a polio epidemic in Newark, NJ back in 1944.  In the absence of a cure or vaccine--the polio vaccine was 11 years away--Roth's work is necessarily about suffering and stoicism, as opposed to a cure.  

Review Roth's half-century in American letters, New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani, recalling one of Roth's most famous books, observes, "Whereas 'Portnoy’s Complaint' was an outrageously comic tale about the throwing off of duty, 'Nemesis' is a pleasantly told parable about the embrace of conscience." 

Read an excerpt here.


  1. My cousins were among the first to get these shots..... in Pittsburgh.....