Death of a literary giant: Philip Roth, 1933

Philip Roth writing and lust

Philip Roth, a prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, has died.

Roth's literary agent Andrew Wylie confirmed Roth died of congestive heart failure in a NY hospital on Tuesday night. Whether or when Roth would be awarded the prize was a frequent topic of discussion (paywall) among literary enthusiasts, especially as Roth entered his 80s and had seemingly won everything else, including a Pulitzer and a Man Booker International Prize.

"Every year we talked about it, it became amusing", Savigneau said, adding that great writers such as Marcel Proust and James Joyce had also missed out on the prize.

Leading figures in literature, television and academia paid homage to Roth, the author of works including American Pastoral and Portnoy's Complaint, who wrote about topics from the experience of Jews living in America to male sexuality and U.S. politics.

A prolific essayist and critic as well as a novelist, Roth long managed to sustain his literary output both in terms of quality as well as quantity, exemplified by his widely admired political trilogy - "American Pastoral" (1997), "I Married a Communist" (1998) and "The Human Stain" (2000).

Roth was the recipient of two National Book Awards, two National Book Critics Circle awards, three PEN/Faulkner Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Man Booker International Prize. That, however, did not last: "My humiliation before the Yeshiva belligerents-indeed, the angry Jewish resistance that I aroused virtually from the start-was the luckiest break I could have had", he said. "There was nothing more for me to write about", he told the BBC in 2014.

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He concluded: "I did the best I could with what I had". In an interview with the New York Times (paywall) earlier this year, Roth denied the parallels between Lindbergh and Trump due to their "difference in stature".

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

In this September 15, 2010 photo, author Philip Roth poses in NY.

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. The character of Nathan Zuckerman is lauded as one of the most memorable characters from his books.

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.

"We all wanted to be Philip Roth". Named as "the most un-Rothian" of his books by Charles McGrath at The New York Times, it reads as a "Theodore Dreiser- or Sherwood Anderson-like story set in the WASP Midwest in the 1940s". "If I'm not an American, I'm nothing", said Roth.

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