The Counterlife is a 1986 novel by Philip Roth, written in five sections that refuse to meld together into a self-consistent narrative. The story centers around the estranged feuding brothers, Nathan and Henry Zuckerman. Nathan is successful writer and Henry is an average middle-aged man with a family. After being diagnosed with a severe arterial disease, Henry is given the choice between surgery and medication that will make him lose his sexual function. Despite their alienation from one another, Henry comes to Nathan for counseling.