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Writing on "behaviour in extreme situations" was Roth's forte, tackling characters with "sheer playfulness and deadly seriousness", recording "life, in all its shameless impurity".

Eight of Roth's novels have been adapted into movies, including the 2016 drama "Indignation" starring Logan Lerman and Sarah Gadon, and "American Pastoral" starring Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning and Uzo Aduba.

In addition to winning almost every literary award for writers in English, Roth was also embraced by the Jewish community over his long career.

"I decided that I was done with fiction", he said.

Philip Roth: A literary life in seven stages

The celebrated and controversial author of "Portnoy's Complaint", "The Counterlife" and other novels was 85.

During his career Mr. Roth wrote more than 30 books, according to his publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He won numerous awards, and was often talked about as a contender for the Nobel prize. He would recall the hostile reception at a symposium at New York's Yeshiva University in 1962 as the "most bruising public exchange of my life".

"Every year we talked about it, it became amusing", Savigneau said, adding that great writers such as Marcel Proust and James Joyce had also missed out on the prize.

Roth won virtually every literary honor, including the Pulitzer Prize for 'American Pastoral'. "The epithet American-Jewish writer has no meaning for me".

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Born on March 19, 1933 Newark (new Jersey), son of a marriage of descendants of Jewish emigrants from Eastern Europe and raised in middle class neighborhood of Weequahic, Philip Milton Roth, eternal candidate for Nobel Prize, who never came to conquer, he received or awards such as two National Book Awards, two National Book critics, three PEN/Faulkner awards, a Pulitzer and a Man Booker International.

"I did not want to, did not intend to, and was not able to speak for American Jews; I surely did not deny, and no one questioned the fact, that I spoke to them, and I hope to others as well", Roth wrote in his essay "Writing About Jews".

"If the Western world views itself through the lens of the modern Jewish experience, it is in large measure due to the novels, novellas and short stories of Philip Roth", wrote David Roskies, a JTS Jewish literature professor, in a note to the class of 2014.

In the Trump era, or in a divisive world for that matter, it is impossible to read his reimagining of history in The Plot Against America - what if F.D. Roosevelt had lost in 1940 and white supremacist Charles Lindbergh had won? - and not be touched by its eerie foreboding.

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Roth was married twice - to Margaret Martinson from 1959 to 1963, and to his long-time partner Claire Bloom from 1990 to 1994.

The novelist struck a similar tone in an interview with The New York Times in January, calling Trump "a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies" and "devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac". "I no longer feel this dedication to write what I have experienced my whole life".

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