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Tributes paid after Pulitzer Prize-winning author Philip Roth dies at 85

He has been hailed as ‘the great American novelist of our postwar world’.

Philip Roth

The Wire writer David Simon and Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn have joined tributes to American author Philip Roth after his death at the age of 85.

The Pulitzer Prize winner, who penned more than 25 books including Portnoy’s Compliant, American Pastoral and The Human Stain, and wrote about sex, mortality and religion, died in a New York hospital of congestive heart failure, according to his literary agent Andrew Wylie.

Simon wrote on Twitter: “Kaddish for Philip Roth, the great American novelist of our postwar world.”

He added: “Improbably, I had the honor of meeting Philip Roth just a few months ago to discuss an adaptation of Plot Against America.

“At 85, he was more precise and insightful, more intellectually adept and downright witty than most any person of any age. What a marvelous, rigorous mind.”

Gunn shared a photo of the cover of Roth’s book The Counterlife on Twitter, writing: “RIP Philip Roth. This one hurts, both me and all of literature.

“He taught me when I was at Columbia and was a huge influence, impressing upon me the importance of writing through the hard times.

“I have many favorite books by Roth, but this is one of them.”

Roth’s death follows that of Bonfire Of The Vanities author Tom Wolfe, who died on May 14 at the age of 88.

Screenwriter Randi Mayem Singer, who wrote Mrs Doubtfire, wrote on Twitter: “Philip Roth and Tom Wolfe both gone in the same eight days. One thing is certain: Smart is dying, while Stupid is rapidly expanding.”

In 2011 Barack Obama presented the National Humanities Medal to Roth during a ceremony at the White House.


Obit Philip Roth

Obit Philip Roth

AP/PA Images

Obit Philip Roth

Roth’s biographer, Blake Bailey, said he died surrounded by “lifelong friends who loved him dearly”, adding he was “a darling man and our greatest living writer”.