Marco Roth's Memoir of Closeted Dad Dying of Aids and Its Aftermath
The only child of Central Park West intellectuals, Marco Roth grew up with La Fontaine's fables and Norse myths and a family lie. The story went that his scientist father didn't wear latex gloves in the lab and from a stray needle prick he contracted aids. Not so. Typical for such a literary family, Marco found the truth, that his father dated men, by reading a galley of his paternal aunt Anne Roiphe's memoir 1185 Park Avenue. Thirteen years later, Marco says he started his book The Scientists: A Family Romance [Kindle], out this week from FSG, as an act of revenge against her but it grew into something far more complicated. One review explains, "As part of his puzzling-out project, or as a literary conceit, Roth starts reading and rereading the books his father gave him, including Samuel Butler's The Way of All Flesh,
Goncharov's Oblomov, and Turgenev's Fathers and Sons. Revisiting the classics and a father's secret gay life ought to call to mind Alison Bechdel's brilliant Fun Home. If he's lucky.