American literary giant Philip Roth dies at 85


Philip Roth, a league of American writer for whom John Updike and Saul Bellow were contemporaries, has died from congestive heart failure, reports Charles McGrath of the New York Times.

The news was first announced Tuesday night (May 22) by the New Yorker-to which Roth was a frequent contributor-citing close friends of the writer.

Roth won almost every coveted award for literature in his incredible career, including the Pulitzer Prize for his 1997 work American Pastoral.

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

In 2012, Roth confirmed that "Nemesis" would be his last novel, after having reread all his books.

Roth's first published book was the 1959 novella and short-story collection "Goodbye, Columbus, ' which won the National Book Award".

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.

The writer was born on March 19, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey.

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

For many, Mr. Roth would be inextricably linked to one of the great comic, sexually charged novels of recent memory, 1969's "Portnoy's Complaint", in which the lead character appears nearly overwhelmed with lust. The son of an insurance salesman, Roth earned a bachelor's degree at Buckle University and a master's degree in English from the University of Chicago.

Roth went on to further eviscerate Trump, who he called "humanly impoverished" compared to other former presidents.

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

The decorated author received the National Humanities Medal from Obama in 2010, and won a litany of major awards in the United States and around the world, but the coveted Nobel Literature Prize eluded him. "The struggle with writing is done", said a note he taped to his computer.

'I decided that I was done with fiction, ' he said at the time.

A prolific essayist, critic and novelist, the 1990s were the height of his productivity, exemplified by his widely admired trilogy - "American Pastoral" (1997), "I Married a Communist" (1998) and "The Human Stain" (2000). "The person is a model who then develops into somebody", he said. "I no longer feel this dedication to write what I have experienced my whole life". A year later, she published a bruising memoir, 'Leaving a Doll's House, ' in which she portrayed him as depressed, remote, self-centered and verbally abusive.

He wanted "to see whether I had wasted my time", according to the New York Times Book Review.