Eleanor Wachtel's interview with Philip Roth first aired on Writers & Company on November 1, 2009. Roth is the recipient of the 2011 Man Booker International Prize.
Celebrated American author Philip Roth has been awarded the Man Booker International Prize, it was announced on Wednesday, May 17. Launched in 2005, the biannual award recognizes writers of fiction who are alive and currently working and have made a significant contribution to literature on an international level. Previous winners include Albanian writer Ismail Kadaré, Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe and Canadian writer Alice Munro.
Philip Roth certainly fits the bill. The profilic American author has more than 30 works of fiction to his name and has won or been nominated for every major literary award including the National Book Award (in 1960 for Goodbye, Columbus and 1995 for Sabbath's Theatre); the National Book Critics Circle Award (in 1987 for The Counterlife and 1991 for Patrimony: A True Story); the PEN/Faulkner Award (in 1994 for Operation Shylock, 2001 for The Human Stain and in 2007 for Everyman); and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction (in 1998 for American Pastoral).
The winner of the Man Booker International Prize receives £60,000.
"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," Rick Gekoski, the chair of the jury, said. "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, is as fresh, memorable, and alive with feeling as anything he has written. His is an astonishing achievement."
Philip Roth's acceptance speech is available on YouTube, which you can watch below.
Other finalists for the 2011 award included Canadian writer Rohinton Mistry, John le Carré and Marilynne Robinson.