Prolific American author Philip Roth dies at 85

American novelist Roth disliked e-books and the distracting influences of modern technology, which he felt diminished the ability to appreciate the beauty and aesthetic experience of reading books on paper. (Eric Thayer/Reuters)

American novelist Roth disliked e-books and the distracting influences of modern technology, which he felt diminished the ability to appreciate the beauty and aesthetic experience of reading books on paper. (Eric Thayer/Reuters)

Philip Roth, a prominent and prolific American author, passed away at the age of 85 on Tuesday night from congestive heart failure.

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

The author – who was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1933 – was famous for his conveyance of Jewish-American life, including his experiences with anti-semitism and Jewish identity. His best known works include Portnoy’s Complaint, I Married a Communist, The Human Stain, and his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel American Pastoral.

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Although the author won many awards including National Book Awards and PEN/Faulkner Awards, he never won a Nobel Literature Prize.
In 2012, Roth decided to retire from writing. “I decided that I was done with fiction,” he said.

“I don’t want to read any more of it, and I don’t even want to talk about it anymore ... It’s enough. I no longer feel this dedication to write what I have experienced my whole life.”

The New York Times, which had an interview with Roth earlier this year, will remember the author as “a passionate student of American history and the American vernacular. And more than just about any other writer of his time he was tireless in his exploration of male sexuality.” 

Arielle Schwartz
Arielle Schwartz

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