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Exit Ghost by Philip Roth
Philip Roth's Exit Ghost is his final Nathan Zuckerman novel, and finds his elderly protagonist (if not alter ego) leaving his rural refuge to come to New York for medical treatment for his impotence and incontinence after prostate surgery. He sees an ad for a couple who wants to switch their Upper West Side residence for a rural house and he impulsively agrees to it, finding himself lusting after the woman involved. He meets a woman from his past, Amy Bellette, now suffering from brain cancer. She was lover and muse to Zuckerman's mentor, novelist E.I. Lonoff, and spending time reveals more of her past. He also meets Richard Kliman, an ambitious journalist writing a biography of Lonoff, who wants information about the writer from both Amy and Zuckerman, hinting that he knows secrets about the man that they don't. Exit Ghost has received mostly positive reviews with the Seattle Times saying, "Exit Ghost is an intriguing, intricate novel. In some respects, it reads like an oblique biography of Nathan Zuckerman. Roth invests what might have been a bleak tale of desperation with a triumphant examination of the exigencies of age, illness, and fame."