Philip Roth was a prolific American writer who explored themes such as the lives of Jewish people in America, male sexuality and lust. In the course of 32 published books and other works, he received a lot of criticism, praise and many awards. His work was mainly concerned with the problems of Jewish middle class and the entaglements of sexual relations and family love.
He is born in March 19th 1933 in New Jersey. Roth is surely one of the most important figures of American Literature in the 20th century. The depth of his work kept him vital and established him among the most respected figures of fiction writing. Although, the Nobel prize escaped him, he won a numerous other awards. His first work, Goodbye, Columbus (1959) earned him fame and a National Book Award.
In the course of his career, Roth explored what it means to be an American. He also explored what it is to be a Jew, a writer, a man. Above all, there is no other writer who so tirelessly discussed male sexuality. Comic most of the time, like it is the case with his characters. Good examples are Alexander Portnoy and David Kepesh. he had an amazing talent in bringing forward issues of male sexuality.
Subsequently, many consider Philip Roth the last of the great white male writers. He is part of the triuphant list which upheld and honored the American letters. His equals are only Saul Bellow and John Updike. Roth outrun them both in writing more novels. In 2005 he became only the third living writer to have his books enshrined in the Library of America. The other two are Saul Bellow and Eudora Welty.
In 2007, proving that he is a tireless writing machine, he started “Everyman”. He went on to write a number of works from that point on. The main theme was mortality and the ravages of old age. He was in his mid-seventies at the time. Eventually, in 2011 he received the National Humanities Medal from president Obama.
In conclusion of his career after finishing “Nemesis” he retired from writing. He didn’t tell anyone at first, because, as he said, he didn’t want to be like Frank Sinatra, announcing his retirement one minute and making a comeback the next. But he stuck with his plan, and, in 2012, he officially announced that he was done.
By 2018 he had settled down in a Upper West Side retiree in Manhattan. He was reading books and communicating with friends. In May 22 that year he passed away, from a heart attack. In an interview of the same year, he said he was worn out. “I was by this time no longer in possession of the mental vitality or the physical fitness needed to mount and sustain a large creative attack of any duration,”