Philip Roth Has Died at 85


Philip Roth, an influential novelist who won two National Book Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, has died at the age of 85, The New Yorker reports.

The New York Times confirmed the news, citing the author's close friend Judith Thurman.

A prolific writer, Roth was the author of dozens of novels including Portnoy's Complaint, American Pastoral and Goodbye, Columbus. He was only the third writer-after Eudora Welty and Bellow-to have his volumes preserved by the Library of America while still alive.

Roth had been especially prolific in the years leading to his 2012 retirement from writing, turning out novels almost every two years.

His large body of work award Roth numerous prestigious awards and honors, including two National Book Critics Circle Awards, three PEN/Faulkner Awards, a WH Smith Literary Award and a Man Booker International Prize. "That epit makes no sense to me", he said. "As for how Trump threatens us, I would say that, like the anxious and fear-ridden families in my book, what is most terrifying is that he makes any and everything possible, including, of course, the nuclear catastrophe", he said.

Lindbergh's character in the novel resembles much of what many see in Trump today: an isolationist with an "America First" philosophy.

He concluded: "I did the best I could with what I had".

Barack Obama presents the National Humanities Medal to Roth during a ceremony at the White House in 2011
Barack Obama presents the National Humanities Medal to Roth during a ceremony at the White House in 2011

The novel's alternative American history, which imagines Franklin D. Roosevelt being defeated in 1940 by Charles Lindbergh, an aviator with pro-Nazi leanings, led some left-wing critics to draw comparisons with Mr Trump's populist sweep to power.

"The time is running out", he told an interviewer matter-of-factly back in 2011.

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. Roth was known for work that was amusing, often gross, and deeply connected to his Jewish roots.

Roth also received the Pulitzer Price for fiction for his 1997 book "American Pastoral", which featured his recurring alter ago Nathan Zuckerman.

The book topped The New York Times best-seller list for the year and turned its reclusive author into a celebrity - an uncomfortable position that he would later satirise in novels such as "Zuckerman Unbound" (1981) and "Operation Shylock" (1993).

Roth was born in Newark, 1933 to first-generation parents and grew up in the Weequahic neighborhood, which would go on to provide the setting for his famous novel "Portnoy's Complaint".

Roth had a long relationship with British actress Claire Bloom but their five-year marriage ended in divorce in 1995. The accolades and the novels came quickly, including "American Pastoral", "I Married a Communist", and "The Plot Against America".

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