Writer Philip Roth dies at 85 years old

Philip Roth dead The novelist died on Tuesday

Roth's literary agent, Andrew Wylie, told United States media that the writer, who won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his acclaimed novel "American Pastoral", died of congestive heart failure. Zuckerman later reappears in The Counterlife (1986), where he seems to die of a heart attack and is resurrected afterwards.

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

The news was confirmed by Roth's agent Andrew Wylie.

During a particularly fruitful period in his 60s, Roth returned to a number of those themes.

Roth's 2004 novel "The Plot Against America" was thrust back into the public eye following the election of Donald Trump.

Philip Roth dead The author was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama
GETTYPhilip Roth dead The author was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama

In a moment, William Brangham talks with a colleague and collaborator of Roth's.

He published his debut collection of short stories, "Goodbye, Columbus", at the age of 26 - a close-to-the-bone look at the materialist values of the Jewish immigrant milieu in which grew up.

Here are some excerpts. In 2012, Roth made a decision to retire from writing.

In correspondence with The New Yorker previous year, Roth drew parallels between Trump and aviator Charles Lindbergh, who features prominently in Roth's novel The Plot Against America as an isolationist president during the 1940s. "That epit makes no sense to me", he said.

He was well known for writing about his Jewish upbringing as well as American ideas, the human body and personal identity.

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Roth, in his books, poked fun at the wrath he incurred from some in the Jewish community.

Roth became the first novelist to win three PEN/Faulkner awards after the publication of Everyman in 2006, and in 2011 he won the Man Booker International Prize after the publication of his 2010 novel Nemesis.

While predecessors such as Saul Bellow and Bernard Malamud wrote of the Jews' painful adjustment from immigrant life, Roth's characters represented the next generation.

"The death of Philip Roth marks, in its way, the end of a cultural era as definitively as the death of Pablo Picasso did in 1973", he wrote.

A prolific writer, Roth was the author of dozens of novels including Portnoy's Complaint, American Pastoral and Goodbye, Columbus.

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The novelist struck a similar tone in an interview with The New York Times in January, calling Trump "a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies" and "devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac".

Readers have long argued over the true level of autobiography in Roth's novels and the character Nathan Zuckerman, whose passage from aspiring young writer to socially compromised literary celebrity Roth traced in five novels, has generally been seen as the author's alter ego.

Although his novels often explored the Jewish experience in America, Roth, who said he was an atheist, rejected being labeled a Jewish-American writer.

The topics Roth wrote about included the Jewish experience in America, promiscuous male sexuality, and the hypocrisy and disillusionment of American political life since the 1940s.

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