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Published on May 19, 2011
Man Booker International Prize 2011 Winner Philip Roth interviewed by Benjamin Taylor, New York, May 2011
Philip Roth was this week announced as the winner of the fourth Man Booker International Prize at a press conference at the Sydney Opera House. Roth was chosen from a list of 13 eminent contenders.
The Man Booker International Prize, worth £60,000, is awarded for an achievement in fiction on the world stage. It is presented once every two years to a living author for a body of work published either originally in English or widely available in translation in the English language. It has previously been awarded to Ismail Kadaré in 2005, Chinua Achebe in 2007 and Alice Munro in 2009.
Philip Roth is a literary giant and one of the world's most prolific, celebrated - and controversial - writers. Born in March 1933 in New Jersey, Roth is best known for his 1969 novel Portnoy's Complaint, and for his late-1990s trilogy comprising the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Pastoral (1997), I Married a Communist (1998), and The Human Stain (2000).
Rick Gekoski, Chair of the judging panel, commented today:
"For more than 50 years Philip Roth's books have stimulated, provoked and amused an enormous, and still expanding, audience. His imagination has not only recast our idea of Jewish identity, it has also reanimated fiction, and not just American fiction, generally.
"His career is remarkable in that he starts at such a high level, and keeps getting better. In his 50s and 60s, when most novelists are in decline, he wrote a string of novels of the highest, enduring quality. Indeed, his most recent, Nemesis (2010), is as fresh, memorable, and alive with feeling as anything he has written. His is an astonishing achievement."
Roth's award will be celebrated at a formal dinner in London on 28 June 2011.