Philip Roth, Pulitzer-winning NJ author, dead at 85

26 May, 2018, 10:57 | Author: Austin Daniel
  • Philip Roth: A literary life in seven stages

Author Philip Roth poses in New York, Sept. 15, 2010.

Roth's literary agent, Andrew Wylie, told USA media that the writer, who won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his acclaimed novel "American Pastoral", died of congestive heart failure. Steeped in acerbic humour, which increasingly turned black, several of his best novels, including the American trilogy (American Pastoral, I Married a Communist and The Human Stain) were written in a stunning late-career resurgence.

Roth began his career in 1959 with the novel "Goodbye, Columbus".

"You can't invent out of nothing, or I can't certainly", he said in a 2011 documentary.

He first achieved fame for his 1969 novel "Portnoy's Complaint", about a horny teenager named Alexander Portnoy.

"Mr. Roth was the last of the great white males: the triumvirate of writers-Saul Bellow and John Updike were the others-who towered over American letters in the second half of the 20th century", wrote Charles McGrath for The New York Times.

Although Goodbye, Columbus won the National Book Award, older Jewish leaders objected to its portrayal of a conflict between a stuck-up, well-to-do Jewish family in New Jersey and a young working-class Jewish man from Newark. Though much of his work explored the Jewish American experience, he bristled at being categorized.

Philip Roth: A literary life in seven stages

In this March 24, 1960 file photo, the three winners of the National Book Award, Robert Lowell, from left, awarded for the most distinguished book of poetry, Richard Ellmann, victor in the non-fiction category, and Philip Roth, recipient of the award in the fiction category for his book 'Goodbye, Columbus, ' pose at the Astor Hotel in New York City. Until his abrupt retirement, Roth was a dedicated, prolific author who often published a book a year and was generous to writers from other countries.

Born on March 19, 1933 Newark (new Jersey), son of a marriage of descendants of Jewish emigrants from Eastern Europe and raised in middle class neighborhood of Weequahic, Philip Milton Roth, eternal candidate for Nobel Prize, who never came to conquer, he received or awards such as two National Book Awards, two National Book critics, three PEN/Faulkner awards, a Pulitzer and a Man Booker International.

Roth won virtually every literary honor, including the Pulitzer Prize for 'American Pastoral'.

Roth, however, often demurred when it was suggested that he should be defined as an American Jewish writer.

In this March 22, 1993 file photo, American author Philip Roth is seen during an interview promoting his new book 'Operation Shylock: A Confession, ' in NY.

Ambitious and unusual, The Plot Against America tells an alternate version of 20th century history in which aviator and anti-Semite Charles Lindbergh wins the Republican nomination for U.S. president for the 1940 election and defeats Franklin Roosevelt.

Roth had a long relationship with British actress Claire Bloom but their five-year marriage ended in divorce in 1995. It's enough. I no longer feel this dedication to write what I have experienced my whole life'.

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