Ghostwriter was based on the 1979 Philip Roth novel, part of his unofficial "Zuckerman trilogy". Based loosely on an incident in Roth's own youth, the story, set in 1956, centers around 23-year-old novelist Nathan Zuckerman (Mark-Lynn Baker). Nathan's insistence upon writing about the Holocaust brings forth a warning from his father that too much dwelling on the past might rekindle anti-Semitism. In response, Judge Leopold Wapter (Joseph Wiseman) advises Nathan to see the Broadway production of Diary of Anne Frank. Nathan is so impressed with the story that he begins to fantasize that Anne Frank is still alive. Later, during a visit to the New England farm of his idol, author E. I. Lonoff (Sam Wanamaker), Nathan meets a gamin-like stranger (Paulette Smit) whom he imagines to be Anne Frank in the flesh. Philip Roth adapted his own novel (with director Tristam Rogers) for the made-for-TV Ghostwriter. Originally slated for telecast over the BBC, the film eventually became a coproduction of the BBC and America's Public Broadcasting System, and had its American debut on PBS' American Playhouse on January 17, 1984.
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