Synopses & Reviews
Praise for Undying
"Fascinating, strong, beautifully written, and deeply moving." Breyten Breytenbach, author of Notes from the Middle World
Praise for The Bulldozer and the Big Tent
No one is better than Todd Gitlin at describing the crucial dynamic through which movements gain or lose political power. Justly celebrated for his seminal work on such dynamics during the 1960s, Gitlin now he explains everything thats happened since, with passion and wisdomand happily, because of Bushisms collapse, legitimate optimism about the future.” Michael Tomasky, Guardian America
A brilliant and indispensable book.” Thomas B. Edsall, The New Republic
November 2004: George W. Bush is re-elected. Five days later, Alan Meister, a New York professor of philosophy, is diagnosed with lymphomanot 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 Nietzsches philosophical thought was a decades-long attempt to cope with his lifelong incapacitieshis blinding headaches, upset stomach, weak vision, and all-around frailty, not least his vexed relations with women. As Alans 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 authors personal experience with lymphoma, this novel is a compound of reminiscences, aphorisms, anecdotes, and encounters: with Alans 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.