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Philip Roth Quietly Calls it Quits

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

The glum-faced author announced what appears to be his retirement in a “little-noticed” interview with a French magazine. “To tell you the truth, I’m done,” Roth told Les Inrocks in October, adding that he has not written anything in three years.

Roth was widely seen as the United States’ best hope of ending two decades without a Nobel Prize for literature. Enthusiasts of the form of the novel worldwide have expressed frustration and incredulity that Roth hasn’t received the prize.

“Can we please stop the nonsense and give Philip Roth a Nobel Prize for Literature before he dies?” wrote novelist, poet and journalist Michael Bourne in an open letter to the Swedish Academy in September 2011.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

The work of Roth, already the recipient of the Man Booker international prize, the Pulitzer and the National Book award, was described by the Asturias judges as forming “part of the great American novel, in the tradition of Dos Passos, Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Bellow and Malamud.”

The jury said Roth’s “characters, events and plots form a complex view of contemporary reality torn between reason and feeling, such as the sign of the times and the sense of unease about the present,” and praised his “literary quality, [which] is displayed in his fluid, incisive writing”.

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